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Essay on Bal Gangadhar Tilak said Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it According to me, Swaraj means
On Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s birth anniversary I salute the great freedom fighter that ignited the spark of patriotism with his quote in Marathi, “स्वराज्य हा माझा जन्मसिद्ध हक्क आहे आणि तो मी मिळवणारच” (Swarajya is my birth right and I shall have it) inspired millions of Indian to join the freedom struggle. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, Mahatma Gandhi and many other leaders use and support the word Swaraj (Self-rule). The word Swaraj is a sacred word, a Vedic word, meaning self-rule and self-restraint, and not freedom from all restraint which ‘independence’ often means.
Among the Indian leaders, Tilak was a lover of motherland of first order. He had immense love for the country. Throughout his life, he made all sorts of efforts and sacrifice for the prosperity of the country. From his very childhood, he inherited love for his own country. He wanted to make India prosperous and strong country in the world. He, therefore, organised several festivals to inculcate patriotism among the people of India. He had deep and immense faith in Indian culture, religion, art and-tradition. He further compared our nation with God. To quote Tilak, “God and our country are not different. In short, our country is one form of God. The love of nation like love of God has to transcend narrow provincialism and communalism. ”
The political goal of Tilak was to attain Swaraj or self-government for the people of India. He said that the idea of Swaraj is an old one. For the individual Swaraj means the exercise of his lawful freedom the individual cannot live in his true nature without complete Swaraj. He practised Swaraj as not merely a right, but as a Dharma. He also presented political, moral and spiritual meanings of Swaraj. For the attainment of Swaraj, he opposed the Britishers. For Tilak Swaraj referred to both the self-rule of the individuals-and the self-rule of the political community. Swaraj was both a part of the philosophy of life and the philosophy of politics. He derived the idea of “Swarajya” from the Veda. Tilak was the most significant and dominant political personality of the early years of the 20th century who gave to the, people of India the first lesson in form of the consciousness of the right of Swaraj or self-rule. He defined Swaraj as ‘people’s rule instead of that of bureaucracy is Swaraj.” To Tilak, Swaraj meant Home Rule or self-government for right, I will have it.” He again said, “We demand Swaraj, as it is the foundation and not the height of our prosperity.”
According to Tilak, Swaraj was not only a right but also a dharma or religion. He was of the opinion that self-rule under Dharmarajya either existed fully or did not exist at all. He, therefore, wanted complete Swaraj. He started Home Rule League in 1916 in order to push forward his ideal of Swaraj. He thought of a federal type of political structure under Swaraj. Tilak thus rightly said that “no nation can be strong and healthy unless it is free.” Further Tilak gave the following four views of Swaraj-
• Firstly, Swaraj meant that the ruler and the ruled must belong to one group and one nation.
• Secondly, Swaraj referred to as rule of law. The State should be governed by law.
• Thirdly, government must be elected by the people and must be responsible to them.
• Lastly, Swaraj means the State should be established for the overall development of the individuals.
According to me, Swaraj means self-dependent not in terms of being physical independent but the thoughts of the individual should be free and independent. The Swaraj of my-our-dream recognizes no race or religious distinctions. Not is it to be the monopoly of the lettered persons or yet of moneyed men. Swaraj is to be for all, including the former, but emphatically including the maimed, the blind, the starving, toiling millions. Real Swaraj must be felt by all-man, woman and child. My Swaraj is to keep intact the genius of our civilization. If Swaraj was not meant to civilize us, and to purify and stabilize our civilization, it would be nothing worth.