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Mr. Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Jul 23, 1856 - Aug 01, 1920

Mr. Bal Gangadhar Tilak


  • Name : Mr. Bal Gangadhar Tilak
  • Date of Birth : Jul 23, 1856
  • Passed Away On : Aug 01, 1920
  • Religion : Hindu
  • Death Place : Mumbai
  • Address : Chikhali,Maharashtra
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Life Summary

    Tilak was born in a Marathi Brahmin family in Ratnagiri (Maharshtra). His ancestral village is Chikhali. His father was a Sanskrit scholar who taught in school. He died when Tilak was just sixteen years old.


    His Education:

    Tilak completed his graduation from Deccan College in Pune in the year 877. He was amongst the first generation of people who completed their college education. He received his Bachelor of Arts in first class in Mathematics from Deccan College itself in the year 1877.

    He left his M.A. course midway to join the L.L.B course. In the year 1879 he obtained his L.L.B degree from Government Law College. 

    After completing his graduation, Tilak started teaching mathematics at a private school in the city of Pune itself. However, later on due to ideological differences with the colleagues in the school, he left that job and became a journalist.

    His Marriage:

    In the year 1871, Tilak was married to Tapibai a few months before his father’s death. He was just sixteen years old at that time. His wife was rechristened after marriage and was named Satyabhamabai.

    Formation of Deccan Society:

    In the year 1884, Tilak formed the Deccan Education Society with an aim to improve the education system then. Few of his college friends viz. Mahadev Ballal Namjoshi, Gopal Ganesh Agarkar, Vishnushastri Chiplunkar also joined the same and helped him in his work. The Society established the New English School for secondary education and a college named Fergusson College in the year 1885. This college was meant for post-secondary studies. Tilak, here taught Mathematics subject.


    Tilak was an active political person who openly opposed the British rule. Before Mahatma Gandhi came into picture, Tilak was a well-known political leader.

    Indian National Congress

    Tilak joined the Indian National Congress in the year 1890.
    Tilak was against the Age of Consent Bill of the year 1891 and due to this opposition the act raised the age at which a girl could get married from 10 to 12 years.

    Tilak took up the issue of Bubonic Plaue of the year 1896 that spread from Bombay to Pune and the harsh measures that the British took to restrict people from entering private houses, hospitals, etc. and published the same in his newspaper Kesari.

    Post this incident, on 22 June of the year 1897, Commissioner Rand and another British officer, Lt. Ayerst were shot and killed by the Chapekar Brothers and their associates and Tilak was charged with incitement to murder. Consequently, he was sentenced 18 months of imprisonment. When Tilak emerged out of the Prison he was called a martyr and it is at this time that he adopted a new slogan that was coined by his associate Kaka Baptista i.e. “Swaraj is my birth right and I shall have it.”

    After the Partition of Bengal (that was the strategy of Lord Curzon to make the nationalist movement powerless) Tilak encouraged Swadeshi Movement and Boycott Movement. Due to the Boycott movement there was a gap created in the demand and supply of all the foreign products. To fulfill the needs of the people for those goods Indian goods manufacturing increased at a rapid rate. Consequenly, Tilak said that the Swadeshi and Boycott movements were the two sides of the same coin.

    Sedition Charges

    Bal Gangadhar Tilak had been tried for Sedition Charges by British India Government in the years 1897, 1909, and 1916.
    In the year 1897, Tilak was sentenced to 18 months in prison for preaching disaffection against the Raj.
    Further, in the year 1909, he was again charged with sedition. However, this time there were some additional charges as well that were against him and that were of intensifying racial discrimination amongst Indians and the British. It was during this time that Muhammad Ali Jinnah who was a Bombay Lawyer then couldn’t annul the evidence in Tilak’s defense and hence was sentenced to six years of imprisonment in Burma.


    On 30 April of the year 1908, two Bengali youngsters Prafulla Chaki and Khudiram Bose threw a bomb on a carriage at Muzzafarpur to kill the Chief Presidency Magistrate Douglas Kingsford of Calcutta fame. However, during their attempt they killed two women traveling in it. While Chaki committed suicide when caught, Bose was hanged for this incident. 
    After the incident Tilak, in his paper Kesari, defended the revolutionaries and called for immediate Swaraj also called the self-rule. As a result, the government charged him with Sedition and at the conclusion of the trial; he was convicted by a special jury with 7:2 majority. He was thus sentenced six years of imprisonment in Mandalay in Burma. Plus, he was also imposed a fine of rupees 1000.

    All India Home Rule League

    Later on Tilak re-joined the Indian National Congress in the year 1916. He further helped in establishing the All India Home Rule League in the year 1916-18 with his fellows G.S. Khaparde and Annie Besant.

    He did a lot of effort to make it successful and travelled from village to village and gathered the support from farmers and locals to join the movement towards Swaraj

    His eminent work:

    In the year 1903, Tilak wrote the book titled The Arctic Home in the Vedas. 
    He wrote another book titled The Orion.
    During imprisonment in Mandalay, Tilak authored another work “Srimadh Bhagvad Gita Rahasya”


    Tilak left for his heavenly abode on 1 August 1920 in Mumbai.


    Satyabhamabai Tilak - Spouse

    Shri Gangadhar Tilak - Father

    Paravti Bai Gangadhar - Mother


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