Lokmaniya Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Tilak High School is eponymous of Bal Gangadhar Tilak. He was an Indian social reformer and freedom activist. He was one of the prime architects of modern India and probably the strongest advocates of Swaraj or Self Rule for India. The British Government termed him as the "Father of Indian Unrest" and his followers bequeathed upon him the title of ‘Lokmanya’ meaning he who is revered by the people. Tilak was a brilliant politician as well as a profound scholar who believed that independence is the foremost necessity for the well-being of a nation.
Date & Place of Birth: 23 July 1856,  Ratnagiri, Maharashtra
Parents: GangadharTilak (father) and Parvatibai (mother)
Spouse: Tapibai renamed Satyabhamabai
Children: Ramabai Vaidya, Parvatibai Kelkar, Vishwanath Balwant Tilak, Rambhau Balwant Tilak, Shridhar Balwant Tilak, and Ramabai Sane.
Education: Deccan College, Government Law College.
Publications: The Arctic Home in the Vedas (1903); Srimad Bhagvat Gita Rahasya (1915)
Passed Away: 1 August 1920 

Tilak had an intolerant attitude towards injustice and had independent opinions from an early age. After graduating from Deccan College, Pune, in 1877 in Sanskrit and Mathematics, he studied L.L.B. at the Government Law College, Bombay (now Mumbai). He received his law degree in 1879. After finishing his education, he started teaching English and Mathematics at a private school in Poona. Following a disagreement with the school authorities he quit and helped found a school in 1880 that laid emphasis on nationalism. Though, he was among India's first generation of youths to receive a modern, college education, Tilak strongly criticised the educational system followed by the British in India. He protested against the unequal treatment of the Indian students compared to their British peers and its total disregard for India’s cultural heritage. According to him, the education was not at all adequate for Indians who remained woefully ignorant about their own origins. He started the Deccan Educational Society with college batchmates, Vishnu Shastry Chiplunkar and Gopal Ganesh Agarkar for the purpose of inspiring nationalist education among Indian students.

Gangadhar Tilak joined the Indian National Congress in 1890. He soon started vocalizing his strong opposition to the moderate views of the party on self-rule. He maintained that simple constitutional agitation in itself was futile against the British. Due to this fundamental difference in outlook, Tilak and his supporters came to be known as the extremist wing of Indian National Congress Party. In the 1907 national session of the Indian National Congress, a massive trouble broke out between the moderate and extremist sections of the Indian National Congress Party. As a result of which, the Congress split into two factions.

During 1896, an epidemic of bubonic plague broke out in Pune and the adjacent regions and the British employed extremely rigorous measures to contain it. The police and the army invaded private residences, violated personal sanctity of individuals, burned personal possessions and prevented individuals to move in and out of the city. Tilak protested against the oppressive nature of the British efforts and wrote provocative articles on it in his newspapers.
His article inspired the Chapekar brothers and they carried out assassination of Commissioner Rand and Lt. Ayerst on June 22, 1897. As a result of this, Tilak was imprisoned for 18 months on Sedition charges for inciting murder.
During 1908-1914, Bal Gangadhar Tilak had to undergo six years of rigorous imprisonment in Mandalay Jail, Burma. He openly supported the revolutionaries Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki’s. He continued to write during his years of imprisonment and the most prominent of which is Gita Rahasya. Following his growing fame and popularity, the British government also tried to stop the publication of his newspapers.

There was unprecedented celebration after Tilak was released. He then returned to politics with a mellowed down outlook. Deciding to re-unite with his fellow nationalists, Tilak founded the All India Home Rule League in 1916 with Joseph Baptista, Annie Besant and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. By April 1916, the league had 1400 members that increased to 32,000 by 1917.

After completing his education, Tilak spurned the lucrative offers of government service and decided to devote himself to the larger cause of national awakening. He was a great reformer and throughout his life he advocated the cause of women education and women empowerment. Tilak educated all of his daughters and did not marry them till they were over 16.

Tilak issued a call to the Indians not to stop the movement no matter what happened. He was raring to lead the movement but his health did not permit. Tilak suffered from diabetes and had become very weak by this time. In mid-July 1920, his condition worsened and on August 1, he passed away.
Even as this sad news was spreading, a veritable ocean of people surged to his house. Over 2 lakh people gathered at his residence in Bombay to have the last glimpse of their beloved leader.