FREEDOM FIGHTERS TILAK AND AZAD
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to freedom fighters Chandra Shekhar Azad and Bal Gangadhar Tilak on their birth anniversaries saying they epitomised courage and patriotism.
About Chandra Shekar Azad:
- Born in Bhavra village in Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh in 1906, Azad ran a revolutionary network and had pledged to never get caught by the British. He took his own life during an encounter with the police in 1931, staying true to his resolve to remain ‘azad’ (free).
- Chandrashekhar Azad was just 15 when he participated in the Non-Cooperation Movement, launched by Mahatma Gandhi.
- He later went on to join the Hindustan Republican Association, which he, a few years later, transformed into the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA). A close associate of Bhagat Singh, he came into the spotlight after the Kakori Conspiracy in 1925, which was organised by the HSRA.
- He was involved in the assassination of the assistant superintendent of police, John Poyantz Saunders in 1928.
QUOTES BY CHANDRASHEKHAR AZAD
- “A plane is always safe on the ground, but it is not made for that. Always take some meaningful risks in life to achieve great heights.”
- “I believe in a religion that propagates freedom, equality, and brotherhood.”
- “Don’t see others doing better than you, beat your own records every day because success is a fight between you and yourself.”
About Bal Gangadhar Tilak
- Great nationalist, social reformer and mass leader Keshav Gangadhar Tilak, popularly known as Bal Gangadhar Tilak, was born on July 23, 1856.
- A strong advocate of Swaraj or self-rule, Tilak played a pioneering role in building a mass political consciousness towards the Indian independence movement. His call for self-rule with the slogan “Swaraj is my birth right and I shall have it” inspired millions during the freedom struggle. He was conferred the title of Lokmanya, meaning “accepted by the people as a leader.”
- Tilak was himself a mathematician, philosopher and scholar. Tilak was well read in Hindu scriptures, and also he was influenced by Western thoughts of metaphysics and politics. He had read Voltaire, Rousseau, Hegel and Kant. He graduated from Deccan College, Pune, in 1877, with a first class in Mathematics. He also obtained a law degree.
- He also launched two weeklies, Kesari (in Marathi) and Mahratta (in English), which criticised British policies of the time. In 1890, Tilak joined the Congress.
- The political discourse of the Indian freedom movement significantly changed during the period between 1900 and 1908. It was under the leadership of political triumvirate, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bipin Chandra Pal and Bal Gangadhar Tilak, popularly known as Lal-Bal- Pal, Swadeshi movement gained momentum across the country. The trio also mobilised Indians against the Bengal partition. It was during this period that the trio proposed the Swadeshi movement and boycott of foreign goods.
- Tilak was arrested by the British on the charges of sedition in 1908 and sentenced to six years of imprisonment in Mandalay (Burma). Inside jail, Tilak composed a monumental philosophical treatise titled the ‘Gita Rahasya’.
- After returning from Burma, Tilak was involved in the Home Rule Movement and joined Anne Besant’s Home Rule League. In 1918, he visited England to popularise the Home Rule Movement.
He passed away on August 1, 1920.