Bal Gangadhar Tilak occupied an important place in the Indian
politics. His famous slogan Swaraj (Self Rule) is my birthright
reverberated across the country during the freedom struggle. Apart
from politics, Tilak also made his mark in the field of journalism.
In this book, the author Vishnuchandra Sharma has dwelt upon
the various facets of Tilak’s life.
From my father Pt. Krishnachandra Sharma, I had inherited a picture.
This book contains the story of the same picture. In this story you will
get to know a simple and honest citizen and the period of his nationalist
struggles. I had heard from my father about the personal virtuosity of
Tilak, a fearless campaign in the political movement of his time.
The day when Ashok ji asked me to write a biography of Tilak I was
confronted with ‘gomukh’ of rugged mountains of our country. I searched
and went through several biographics of Tilak published in Marathi,
English and Hindi language. Every biography was the writer’s account of
how he saw and thought about his icon. And I had prepared a new album
of Tilak’s life selecting pictures from the larger album of these books.
This biography reminds us about a fearless civil rights activist and a
capable freedom fighter. As a citizen ‘Tilak was a pious and powerful like
the ‘gomukh’ — and as a freedom fighter he gave the basic mantra of
Swarajya or self rule to the Indians.
Tilak’s life is like a open book. I have written the story of the same
book. This story flows in the veins of India as the Ganges, emerging
from the ‘gomukh’. Every fearless Indian feels proud in his heart of
Tilak’s struggles, his selfless service and his firmness and resoluteness.
I have tried to understand the life of Tilak from his Marathi biography
written by Tambekar and Jog. I am grateful to them and other writers
who have helped me to understand the life and character of Tilak by
going through his personal letters and copies of "Kesari" and "Maratha"
edited by him, I have been able to understand deeply that Tilak was never
alone in his personal life and national struggle. Until his last breath he was
a complete Indian-alive, fearless and a speaking India.
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