Fulfilling Lokmanya's Dream of Imparting National Education To Face Global Challenges......

Our Roots

          INDIA'S STRUGGLE for freedom was a dynamic process in which a nation was roused from slumber, became conscious of new aspirations, and realized its best self-Among the individuals who initiated and accelerated this process; the late Lokmanya Tilak was one of the foremost. He does not, however, belong to the past. His words and deeds are a part of the personality of India today.

Impressionable days

     TILAK was born on the 23rd July, 1856, at Ratnagiri, in the Bombay Presidency, on the West coast of India.
Tilak entered college in 1873. In the Deccan College of his days, the student community being small was a compact one. It was a cosmopolitan institution, where students belonging to all classes and communities studied together and most of them lived in the hostel. Tilak passed his B.A. in 1876 in first class, with Mathematics, Pure and Applied, as his optional subjects. Besides these, he had also to study English and Sanskrit, as compulsory subjects. After taking his B. A., he studied for his LL.B. degree, which he took in 1879.

'Kesari' and 'Mahratta'

     Tilak wanted to influence the impressionable minds of students, who would catch the spirit of idealism far more quickly than the elders. But he also wanted to enlighten the people at large, by telling them of the shape of things to come and inspiring in them a desire to shape their own destinies. It was ultimately decided to launch two newspapers the 'Kesari,' ('The Lion') to be edited in Marathi, and the 'Mahratta' to be edited in English.

Fergusson College

     The idea of starting a college had been lurking in the minds of Tilak and his colleagues almost from the starting of the New English School. On 2nd January 1885, the Fergusson College was inaugurated by Prin. William Wordsworth, in Poona.

The Four Pillars

     The Partition of Bengal was effected on the I6th October 1905, on grounds of administrative convenience and efficiency. The sinister motives of Lord Curzon had become clear from his speeches in East Bengal, wherein he made an effort to create enmity between the Hindus and the Muslims, in pursuance of the imperialist policy of 'divide and rule'. The whole of Bengal rose against this as one man spoke with one voice and acted with one mind. Curzon intended to divide and Bengal was united.

     Tilak knew that agitation had its significance in creating an atmosphere of defiance and in stirring the passions of the people. But he would not be satisfied with mammoth demonstrations, if they did not lead to further action. He, therefore, laid all stress on Boycott, Swadeshi, National Education and Swaraj- the four pillars which would support the edifice of the new life in India. He directed all his energies for bringing home to the people the significance of this programme, and convinced them that the movement for Swaraj was not confined to the chosen few, either the elite or the revolutionaries, but had a place for every patriotic person who was prepared to extend his or her support, however humble it may be. National education was, according to Tilak, a programme for imparting to the younger generation instruction in the new way of life of dedication. As Aurobindo Ghosh picturesquely put it, The four resolutions were, for him the first step towards shaking the Congress out of its torpid tortoise-like gait and turning it into a living and action body.

     In July 1920, Tilak came to Bombay and stayed at the Sardar Griha. He was visited by Gandhiji, Shoukat Ali and others. He had an attack of malarial fever while in Poona. He was again down with fever in Bombay. It soon developed into pneumonia. After 28th July, he became unconscious. He began talking in delirium. On 29th July he talked as if he was addressing a meeting: I am quite sure and you may also believe in me that India will not prosper unless she gets Swaraj. At 2 O'clock the same night he said I am thankful for what you and the people have done. From the 30th, speech became indistinct. At 12:40 in the night of Sunday, 1st August, he breathed his last.

     A Vedantic by instinct and training, Tilak was a true democrat. He looked upon democracy not as just a form of Government but a faith which decided one's attitude to others. He did not accept it as an imitation of the West.

     What India felt and what Indians continue to feel for Lokmanya Tilak has been best expressed by Mahatma Gandhi in the following words : For us, he will go down to the generations yet unborn as a maker of modern India. Indians will revere his memory as of a man who lived for them and died for them. It is blasphemy to talk of such a man as dead. The permanent essence of him abides with us for ever. Let us erect for the only Lokmanya of India an imperishable monument by weaving into our own lives his bravery, his simplicity, his wonderful industry and his love of his country.