Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak made India’s freedom struggle Indian by advocating the fact that progress In any form could never be achieved without having an appreciation for past glories, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Saturday.
Inaugurating an international webinar, “Lokmanya Tilak: Swaraj to Atmanirbhar Bharat”, to mark the centenary death anniversary of the great freedom fighter, the Home Minister said: “Those who have studied the history of the Congress will know it. If anyone, who had made India’s Independence struggle Indian, it was Tilak.”
The event was organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) headed by senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member Vinay Sahasrabudhe.
Elaborating further the concept, Shah said: “Tilak Maharaj gave the clarion call that Swaraj is the my birthright and I will take it. This was no ordinary sentence. This brought a paradigm shift to India’s freedom struggle. It turned the movement launched by the Congress into a people’s movement.”
Highlighting Tilak’s contribution In bringing about social reforms, the Home Minister said the great leader agitated against cow slaughter, as he also fought for women’s rights, published the Kesari newspaper and even turned Shiv Jayanti and Ganpati festivals into a public movement.
“If anyone, who took the values of Shivaji Maharaj to the people, it was Tilak,” he added.
Further showering praise, Shah said: “If you read the thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi, Veer Savarkar and Madan Mohan Malviya, you can easily make out that all of them had a bit of Tilak In them.” He also urged the youth to read about Tilak and his work.
Drawing a parallel between Tilak’s thoughts and those of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah said: “It was Tilak’s advocacy for local languages In the Congress that made everyone speak In their mother tongue during its meetings. Today, PM Modi has brought In Sanskrit and local languages into government’s education policy.”