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100 Years back, on this day, a legend joined Krishna's feet.

More than 2,50,000 people came from far places to have a glimpse of this departed soul.

Remembering a journalist whose Pen was mightier than the Sword,whose writings was an inspiration for lakhs.

Very much is written on his life & death, but less on his Journalism and also sedition charges, this thread is to shed some light about these in Tilak's life.
Bal Gangadhar Tilak used to run his two newspapers, Kesari, in Marathi and Mahratta in English from Kesari Wada, Pune.
The newspapers were originally started as a co-operative by Chiplunkar, Agarkar and Tilak, on 04th January 1891.
The editors of Kesari included freedom fighters, social activists, reformers including Agarkar (its first editor), Chiplunkar and Tilak. Agarkar left Kesari in 1887
to start his own news paper, Sudharak. Later Tilak continued to run the paper on his own. Narasimha Kelkar, a close associate of Tilak, served as editor twice when Tilak was imprisoned in 1897 &1908.
Kesari, was the weapon of Lokmanya Tilak, which gave British, sleepless nights
Tilak's articles in these newspapers were openly opposed to the cruel policies and atrocities of British rule.

After the publication of 'Kesari', he wrote explaining his form and purpose of journalism,

Kesari will discuss all questions fearlessly and impartially. The tendency
to flatter British rule, which is seen today, is not in the national interest. The articles of 'Kesari' will be meaningful to its name. "
Gradually he became the voice of the general public, his newspapers formed the basis of discussion about foreign boycott, use of Swadeshi,
national education and Swaraj movement. Due to these clear and rebellious articles, he also went to jail on SEDITION charges. Despite this, Tilak was completely devoted to journalism and always stood by his ideas and principles. His writings and guidance provided energy to the
revolutionaries including Veer Savarkar.


Between 1876-1900, famine occurred 18 times & more than 19 lakh people died across Bharat during those period. Tilak wrote a series of articles that criticised the conduct of officials who insisted on collecting
land tax even during a famine, and for not implementing the Famine Relief Code.
Bubonic plague struck Pune in 1897, which forced the British administration to enact the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. To stop the spread of plague, repressive measures were adopted by Charles Rand
who was a special duty officer. Rand was killed by Chapekar brothers and Tilak who had already written strong articles condemning the brutality of the measures adopted even before this murder later wrote an article justifying the killing of Afzal Khan by Shivaji comparing with
Rand's death. This did not go down well with British & also Brits licking press.
On 27/71897, Tilak was arrested,tried for sedition at Bombay HC. Ironically, the lawyer who secured him bail, Dinshaw Davar, became the judge who would pass a savage sentence on him 10 years later.
It is a matter of deep regret that when Tilak’s trial was about to begin, none of the leading lawyers of the Bombay HC were willing to appear for him. W C Bonnerjee, a Congress leader, Moti Lal Ghosh, the founder of the Amrit Bazar Patrika, and Rabindranath Tagore collected
almost Rs 20,000 from donors and this was used to send two leading English barristers from Calcutta to appear for Tilak.
The trial before Justice Arthur Strachey was a farce. He sentenced Tilak to 18 months imprisonment.

The partition of Bengal and the killing of two English
women by a bomb hurled by Khudiram Bose led to large-scale repression. The Anglo-Indian press attacked Tilak for provoking the youth to engage in violent protests. Once again, Tilak wrote several articles in Kesari and asked the government to stop repressing freedom. He pointed
out that the best way to stop violence and bombs was to grant self-rule to the people of Bharat and, in one article, criticised the Explosives Act. Once again, Tilak was arrested in June 1908 and charged with sedition. Initially Jinnah appeared for Tilak and applied for bail
but this was rejected by Justice Davar, who had appeared for Tilak in 1897.
This second trial was once again a mere formality. Tilak argued his own case. He pointed out that the English translation of his articles had serious errors and asked for a correct version, but this
plea was rejected. Tilak’s residence in Pune was searched, but nothing was found except a card on which Tilak had written the names of 2 books on explosives. Tilak explained that when he was writing an article on the Explosives Act, he came across the names of these two books.
But this card was the basis of an allegation that Tilak was manufacturing bombs.
Davar sentenced Tilak to six years imprisonment. His articles, according to Davar, were seething with sedition and approved the committing of murder with bombs. He concluded that Tilak’s journalism
was a curse for India. Tilak's response was immortal-

“I maintain that I am innocent. There are higher powers that rule the destiny of things and it may be the will of Providence that the cause which I represent is to prosper more by my suffering than by my remaining free.”
Tilak was sent to Mandalay jail in Burma & returned in 1914.
Once out of jail, Tilak who suffered from health complications, slowed down.
In 1916, he joined congress again, there Tilak tried to convince Gandhi to leave the idea of "Ahimsa" & try to get "Swarajya" by all means.
Naturally, British agent Gandhi didnt approve. Tilak helped found the All India Home Rule League in 1916–18, with G. S. Khaparde and Annie Besant. After years of trying to reunite the moderate and radical factions, he gave up and focused on the Home Rule League. Tilak travelled
from village to village for support from farmers and locals to join the movement towards self-rule. The league had 1400 members in April 1916 & by 1917 membership had grown to approximately 32,000. Tilak started his Home Rule League in Maharashtra, Central Provinces & Karnataka.
Like many, even Lokamanya had blemishes of his own.
He was from that school which believed Shudras were lower and must be like that always, he opposed higher education for women too..
Yes, he had these problems, but he was 1000 times better than PseudoSeckulars.

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