Bal Gangadhar Tilak or Lokmanya Tilak, ⁣born as Keshav Gangadhar Tilak, was an Indian nationalist, teacher, and an independence activist. He was one third of the Lal Bal Pal triumvirate.⁣

Tilak was the first leader of the Indian Independence Movement. The British colonial authorities called him “The father of the Indian unrest.” He was also conferred with the title of “Lokmanya”, which means “accepted by the people (as their leader)”. Mahatma Gandhi called him “The Maker of Modern India”.⁣

Tilak was one of the first and strongest advocates of Swaraj (“self-rule”) and a strong radical in Indian consciousness. ⁣

In 1877, Tilak received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the Deccan College in Pune. In 1879, he completed LLB from the Government Law College, Bombay. After studies, Tilak took up teaching in a school and then went on to become a journalist.⁣

Tilak joined the Indian National Congress in 1890. He opposed its moderate attitude, especially towards the fight for self-government. Later, due to ideological differences with other INC members he left party in 1907.⁣

During his lifetime among other political cases, Tilak had been tried for sedition ⁣for sedition charges in three times by British India Government—in 1897, 1909, and 1916.⁣

Tilak was charged with incitement to murder and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. When he emerged from prison in Mumbai, he was revered as a martyr and a national hero.⁣

He adopted a new slogan coined by his associate Kaka Baptista: “Swaraj (self-rule) is my birthright and I shall have it.”⁣

Tilak helped found the All India Home Rule League in 1916–18, with G. S. Khaparde and Annie Besant. Tilak reunited with his fellow nationalists and rejoined the Indian National Congress in 1916.⁣

In 1894, Tilak transformed the household worshipping of Ganesha into a grand public event (Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav). In 1895, Tilak founded the Shri Shivaji Fund Committee for the celebration of “Shiv Jayanti”.⁣

Tilak started two weeklies, Kesari in Marathi and Maratha in English. While in the prison he wrote the Gita Rahasya. In 1903, Tilak wrote the book “The Arctic Home in the Vedas.”