- At the outset it is a privilege to be contributing to ‘The Tilak Chronicle’ being launched on 1st August 2019, marking the 99th Death Anniversary of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak. He is a revered nationalist who was a visionary and the first leader whose hard hitting journalism against the British rule helped in igniting the masses into launching struggle for the Indian Independence movement. Even the British often referred to him as ‘the father of Indian Resistance’. He is well known for his proclamation of ‘Swarajya’ or ‘self-rule’, for which the British jailed him for 6 long years in Mandalay, located in Myanamar.
- The release from Mandalay coincided with the beginning of First World War fought by the British and their Allies against Germany and other Axis powers. Lokmanya Tilak supported the participation of Indian troops in support of the British and in-turn negotiated for ‘Home Rule’ which paved the way to ‘self-rule’ in the years ahead. His vision of ensuring participation of almost a million strong Indian troops who fought with great valour in the First World War had a far reaching effect on the British masters. It is unfortunate that in gaining Indian freedom on 15th August 1947, not enough credit is given by the historians to the participation of Indian Armed Forces in the First and Second World War. The Royal Indian Naval resistance referred to as Mutiny of Feb 1946 supported by the other two Services had a telling effect on the British Government in London in hastening their decision to grant freedom to India. (Ref: ‘Revisiting the 1946 Royal Indian Naval Mutiny’ by Shrinath Raghavan in Mint, 03 April 2017).
- As a befitting tribute to the journalistic traditions set by legendary Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, it is heartening to note that Kunal, his fifth generation great great-grandson has embarked on starting ‘The Tilak Chronicle’.
The views and opinions expressed in the article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Tilak Chronicle and TTC Media Pvt Ltd.