Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Forgotten Hero

Bal Gangadhar Tilak is considered to be the father of Indian Freedom Movement. His clarion call “स्वराज्य हा माझा जन्मसिद्ध अधिकार आहे” is still fresh in the Indian psyche. Though, i believe that the greatest contribution of this man to Indian Culture is Sarvajanik Ganesh Utsav.

For writing 3 "antinational" articles in his newspaper, Kesari, Tilak was sentenced to 6 Years of imprisonment in Mandalay Jail in Burma – now Mynamar. Today is the centenary anniversary of this event । Ideally, either the Indian Government or at least the Maharashtra Government should have marked the occasion with some event in Mandalay. The least they can do is to keep a small memorial meeting in room number 46 of Mumbai High Court where his famous response to the verdict can still be seen on the walls - "In spite of the verdict of the Jury, I maintain that I am innocent। There are higher powers that rule the destiny of men and nations and it may be the will of providence that the cause which I represent may prosper more by my suffering than my remaining free".

Sadly, we have forgotten the founding fathers of Modern India!

TRIVIA – Tilak was jailed in the castle of Thibaw, the deposed king of Burma. Interestingly Thebaw was kept under house arrest at Ratnagiri – Tilak’s hometown!

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