Bal Gangadhar Tilak's Association with Indian National Congress began in the year 1890. He was strongly against the mindset of the moderates and especially fought for the independent or self-government. During his time, he was one of the prominent radicals alive who strongly fought and rebelled against impact of British rule in India.
Arrest of Bal Gangadhar Tilak
On 30th April 1908 two potential Bengali youths, Prafulla Chaki and Khudiram Bose threw bombs on a carriage at Muzzafarpur in order to send across a statement and to kill the chief Presidency Magistrate Douglas Kingsford of Calcutta fame, but by mistake, killed some woman travelling in it. Chaki committed suicide when was caught and Bose was hanged. Tilak is his weekly paper Kesari defended the revolutionaries and also called for immediate Swaraj or self rule.
The government, with haste, arrested him for sedition. He was sentenced to six years' transportation and an Rs 1,000 fine. Consequently, Tilak was sent to Mandalay - Burma and was there from 1908 to 1914. While imprisoned he continued his reading and writing - thus further developing his ideas on the Indian Nationalist Movement. While in the prison he wrote the famed Gita Rahasya. Lots of copies of which were sold, and the money was donated for the freedom fighting.
Life after Prison for Bal Gangadhar Tilak
Life after prison for Bal Gangadhar Tilak was mellowed, since he suffered from Diabetes because of the hardship in prison in Mandalay prison. In August, when World War I started, Tilak cabled the cabled King Emperor in Britain of his support and turned his oratory to find new recruits for war efforts.
He also welcomed Indian Council Act fondly known as Minto-Morley Reforms which had been passed by British Parliament in May 1909, terming it as "a marked increase of confidence between the Rulers and the Ruled". The violent acts actually got retarded than hastened the pace of political reforms, be felt.
He was excited for reconciliation with Congress and had abandoned his demand for direct action and settled for agitations "strictly by constitutional means" - a line advocated by his rival Gopal Krishna Gokhale. Tilak saw the spark in Mohandas Gandhi and tried his best to convince Gandhi to leave the idea of "Total Ahimsa" and try to get "Swarajya" by all means. Gandhi, though looked upon him as his guru, did not change his mind.
All India Home Rule League
Later of course, Tilak re-united with his fellow nationalists and also rejoined Indian National Congress in the year 1916. He also assisted in setting up All India Home Rule League in 1916-1918, with G. S. Khaparde and Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Annie Besant.
After trying for years to reunite the radical and moderate factions, he gave up and focuses on the Home Rule League, which sought self rule. In effort to garner support, Tilak travelled from one village to another looking for support from farmers and locals to join the movement towards self rule. He was seriously impressed by the Russian Revolution, and also expressed his admiration for Valdamir Lenin.
Tilak started his political career as Maratha propagandist and also progressed into the mainstream nationalist after his close connection with Indian nationalists following the partition of Bengal in 1905.
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