राजनीति · Freethought

Know more about Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak

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LOKMANYA BAL GANGADHAR TILAK (1856-1920)

(A) HIS COLLEAGUES AND FOLLOWERS :

Vishwanath Narayan Mandalik, Vishnushastri Chiplunkar, Dadasaheb Khaparde, K.P. Khadilkar, N.C.Kelkar, Balkrishna Shivram Moonje, Shivram Mahadeo Paranjape, Shridhar Ganesh Jinsivale, Mahadeo Ballal Namjoshi, Vasudeorao Kelkar, Ramchandra Ganesh Barve, Balwant Ramchandra Natu, Hari Ramchandra Natu. Ganesh Joshi, Dajisaheb Khare, Gangadhar Deshpande, Bapuji Aney etc.

(B) HIS IDENTITY :

He was born in a Chitpavan Brahmin Khot family at Chikhali (Ratnagiri), called himself as ‘Rashtravadi’ (nationalist). However his works and words show that he was Brahmin first, Hindu second and Rashtravadi third. He copied and plagiarized  the slogan ” Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it” coined and first given by Barrister Joseph Baptista. Barrister Baptista also taught Tilak and Annie Besant the concept and strategy of Home Rule Movement.

(C) HIS MISSION :

To oppose British Rule in order to defend and protect ‘Varnashram Dharma’ (caste system), Manusmriti and to oppose reforms for being responsible for the “social deterioration” of Hindus and to re-establish Brahmin supremacy and hegemony in Hindu society.

(D) HIS ENEMIES :

British Government, Lokhitvadi Deshmukh, Jyotirao Phule, Gopal Ganesh Agarkar, M.G. Ranade, G.K.Gokhale, Chh. Shahu, Pandita Ramabai and others. He accused and attacked them as traitors, anti-Brahmins, anti-Hindu, anti-nationals etc.

(E) HIS IMPORTANT CAMPAIGNS :

(1)  He opposed Agriculturalists Relief Act, 1879 and Agricultural Reforms which  gave some relief and basic protection to the famine affected poor farmers. He took anti-farmers stand and strongly supported moneylenders and Khots. He also prevented government from establishing Agricultural Banks for farmers in 1885.

(2)  He strongly opposed introduction of compulsory universal primary education and university reforms. He argued that teaching reading and writing to non-Brahmin children would actually harm and spoil them. He also specifically and vehemently opposed the admission of children from ‘untouchable’ Mahar and Mang communities in schools.

(3) He strongly opposed girls  education on the ground that educating girls amounted to loss of nationality, would de- womanize, would ruin their virtues and make them immoral and insubordinate and destroy Hindu families.

(4) He vehemently opposed the Age of Consent Bill,1891 which sought to raise the age of girls from 8 to12 years for marriage.

(5) He was opposed to secularism and believed in and propagated the concept of Hindu Nation based on the Dharmshastras. His public Ganeshotsav and Shiv Jayanti divided Hindu-Muslim further and gave boost to violence and instigated communal riots.

(6) He opposed two Factory Acts of 1881 and 1891 which had addressed a few  basic demands of workers like the fencing of dangerous machinery, limiting the working hours of women and children and a weekly holiday. He also always sided with mill owners though workers went on strikes in his support.

(7) He declared that Chh. Shahu Maharaj, the descendant of Chh. Shivaji Maharaj along with all Marathas is a Shudra and hence he along with all Marathas had no right of ‘Vedokta’ rituals.

(8)  He openly opposed farmers and backward class people becoming Members of Parliament, Assemblies and  Councils.

(F) He is the Father of Indian Political Corruption. He misappropriated Rs.20,000/- collected for the Memorial of Shiv Chhatrapati. He instigated people in the name of Hindu religion in order to protect the Brahmin supremacy. The ingratitude he had shown to Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad, Jyotirao Phule and Shahu Chhatrapati is legendary. Who gave him the title ” Lokmanya” is a big mystery.

(Ref. “Bal Gangadhar Tilak: Popular Readings”.
Edited by Prof.Dr. Biswamoy Pati, Dr.Parimala V. Rao, “Deshache Dushman” by Dinkar Rao Jawalkar, Kesari, Maratha etc.)

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