Bal Gangadhar Tilak (1856–1920)
He was known as ‘Lokmanya’ to the Indians and as the ‘Father of Indian
Unrest’ to the British. He began his political career as a moderate and
remained so till the fag end of the 19th century, but by the beginning of the
20th century became an extremist.
He was a pioneer in many ways, for instance, in the use of religious
orthodoxy as a method of mass contact through his organisation of the
Ganapati festival (1893). Also he was the first to develop a patriotic-cum-
historical cult through his organisation of the Shivaji festival (1895). Further,
he experimented with a kind of no-revenue campaign among the famine
stricken peasants of Maharashtra in 1896–97.
His view on social reforms: Though a radical in politics, he was a
conservative in social reforms.
He considered social and political reforms to be distinct and not
interlinked and advocated that political freedom should precede social
reform. He opposed initiative by the British government (because it was an
alien government) as well as by the Congress party (because it would
estrange the masses from it).
He was a prominent member of the Deccan Education Society and helped
to found the New English School, which later became the Fergusson College.
He was the editor for two newspapers, that is, the Maharatta in English and
the Kesari in Marathi. He also founded the Home Rule League in April 1916
and declared ‘Swaraj is my birth right, and I will have it’.
He was imprisoned twice by the British for his nationalist activities—
once in 1897 for 18 months and again in 1908 for 6 years (in the Mandalay
jail in Burma). He played a prominent role in the anti-partition movement of
1905-08, and was mainly responsible for making it an all-India movement.
Lala Lajpat Rai (1865–1928)
Popularly known as the ‘Punjab Kesari’, he was the leader of the ‘college’
faction of the Arya Samaj and worked for the social and educational reforms
in the early period of his life. He became an extremist leader in the beginning
of the 20th century and played in important role in the Anti-Partition