Essay on Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Bal Gangadhar Tilak (23rd July 1856 – 1st August 1920) was a nationalist Indian leader and a freedom fighter who is hugely respected for his contribution to the freedom struggle. He was called ‘Lokmanya’ and ‘the father of the Indian revolution’.

Short and Long Essays on Bal Gangadhar Tilak in English

I am giving below three essays of different word lengths on Bal Gangadhar Tilak such as 120 words, 250 words, 400 words, 500 words and 600 words for my dear students:

Bal Gangadhar Tilak Essay 10 Lines (100 – 150 Words)

1) Bal Gangadhar Tilak was a freedom fighter and a true nationalist.

2) He was born as Keshav Gangadhar Tilak in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra on 23 July 1856.

3) When he was only 16 his father, Gangadhar Tilak died.

4) He participated in many activities and worked against British rule.

5) He was a famous leader of the Indian Freedom Movement and was sent to jail many times.

6) He joined the Indian National Congress and also worked with Gandhi Ji.

7) The All India Home Rule League was founded by Tilak along with Annie Besant and G.S. Khaparde.

8) “Kesari”, a famous revolutionary newspaper was started by him.

9) He was entitled as “Lokmanya” and the “Father of the Indian Revolution”.

10) At the age of 64, Bal Gangadhar Tilak died on 1st August 1920.

Essay 1 (250 Words) – Bal Gangadhar Tilak: A Nationalist and A Social Reformer


Bal Gangadhar Tilak was born on 23rd July 1856 as Keshav Gangadhar Tilak in Ratnagiri district, Maharashtra. His ancient village Chikhali was located in Sangameshwar taluk. His father Gangadhar Tilak was a school teacher who died when Tilak was only 16 years old.

Ardent Nationalist

Ever since his adolescence, Tilak had been an ardent nationalist and had been participating or supporting revolutionary activities. His view was largely radical and demanded nothing less than self-rule of purna Swaraj.

He openly supported Anti-British agitation and activities, due to which he was jailed several times. He joined Indian National Congress after the 1916 Lucknow Pact; although, he thought that Congress should adopt a more radical approach to demand freedom.

While in congress, Tilak worked closely with Mahatma Gandhi and became a popular leader of the Indian freedom movement. Tilak founded the All India Home Rule League in 1916-18 with Annie Besant and G.S. Khaparde.

Social Reformer

Apart from being a nationalist and a patriot, Tilak was also a social reformer who bought many changes in society. He is credited with giving the Ganeshotsava festival its present-day grandeur, before that only worshipping of Ganesha was being followed in the houses. The credit of making the festival grander with procession, music, and food, goes completely to Tilak.


Bal Gangadhar Tilak died on 1st August 1920 aged 64 at Bombay in British India. Tilak was so popular a leader that he was given the sobriquet ‘Lokmanya’ meaning someone who has the consent of people or represents them.

Essay 2 (400 Words) – Bal Gangadhar Tilak: A Courageous Nationalist


Bal Gangadhar Tilak was a great freedom fighter and a third of the famous trio Lal Bal Pal, representing Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Bipin Chandra Pal. Tilak along with two of his contemporaries was involved in Anti-British agitation and the boycott of British goods.

A Courageous Nationalist

Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s defiant patriotism and courage set him apart from other political leaders. He openly criticized the oppressive policies of the British, when he was just a teacher in Maharashtra.

He had a penchant for writing and started a newspaper titled ‘Kesari’, openly supporting revolutionary activities against the British Rule. He had been to prison on several occasions for Anti-British activities and for supporting other revolutionaries.

Sedition charges had been pressed against Bal Gangadhar Tilak by the British government on three occasions – 1897, 1909 and 1916. He had also been imprisoned in Mandalay, Burma for supporting Prafulla Chaki and Khudiram Bose. The duo was convicted in a bomb attack on Muzaffarpur’s Chief Presidency Magistrate, Douglas Kingsford, in which two British women were killed. He spent six years from 1908 to 1914 at Mandalay.

Affinity for Swami Vivekananda

The first meeting between Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Swami Vivekananda was accidental when they were travelling by train in 1892. They instantly developed mutual self-respect for one another and their relationship flourished.

Vivekananda also visited the house of Tilak on the latter’s invitation. A common associate of both Vivekananda and Tilak named Basukaka had revealed that there was a mutual pact between the duos. Tilak agreed to infuse nationalism in political circles while Swami Vivekananda agreed on doing the same in the religious sphere.

When Swami Vivekananda died at a young age, Tilak was saddened and paid tributes to Vivekananda in his newspaper Kesari. Tilak wrote that with the loss of Swami Vivekananda, a great Hindu saint who brought glory to Hinduism is gone. He compared Swami Vivekananda with Adi Sankaracharya, another Hindu philosopher who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta.

Tilak had said that the work of Swami Vivekananda was still incomplete and it was the greatest loss for Hinduism and its philosophy.


There was no other leader of the Indian freedom struggle who matched the stature of Bal Gangadhar Tilak. He had been the most popular Indian leader and a close contemporary of Lala Lajpat Rai, Bipin Chandra Pal, and Mahatma Gandhi as well. Gandhiji respected him and his nationalism despite his radical inclination.

Essay on Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Essay 3 (500 – 600 Words) – Bal Gangadhar Tilak: Education and National Movements


Bal Gangadhar Tilak was born on 23rd July 1856 in a Marathi Brahmin family in Ratnagiri district of present-day Maharashtra state. His birth name was Keshav Gangadhar Tilak. He rose to become the first radical leader of the Indian freedom movement. His popularity was second only to Mahatma Gandhi.

Education and Influences

His father Gangadhar Tilak was a school teacher who died when Tilak was 16 years old. Just months before his father’s death, Tilak married Satyabhamabai.

After his father’s death, Tilak obtained a B.A. degree in Mathematics from Deccan College of Pune in 1877. Further, he obtained a Law Degree from Government Law College, Mumbai in 1879.

Thereafter Tilak shortly worked as a teacher before moving over to journalism. A Marathi writer named Vishnushastri Chiplunkar had a great influence on Tilak. Inspired by Chiplunkar, Tilak founded a school in 1880. Moving further, Tilak and few of his close friends set up a Deccan Education Society in 1884.

Participation in National Movement

Ever since the beginning, Tilak was involved in the Indian freedom struggle. He was called “The father of Indian unrest” by a British author and Statesman, Valentine Chirol.

He was vocal in supporting extremist revolutionaries and praised their actions in his newspaper, Kesari. He was also sentenced to six years imprisonment to Mandalay, in Burma for supporting Prafulla Chaki and Khudiram Bose, through his paper, Kesari. Both Chaki and Bose were charged with the murder of two English women.

Tilak spent six years 1908-14, at the Mandalay prison where he wrote ‘Gita Rahasya.’ Several copies of the book were sold and the money collected was donated to support the freedom movement.

After getting released from Mandalay prison, Tilak supported the larger involvement of Indians in the governance of British India through the 1909 Minto-Morley Reform.

Initially, Tilak was in the support of a direct action to gain independence but later under the influence of the Indian National Congress, he adopted a rather constitutional approach of peaceful protests.

While in Indian National Congress, Tilak became a contemporary of Mahatma Gandhi. He was at time the second most popular Indian leader after Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi appreciated the courage and patriotism of Tilak.

Many times Bal Gangadhar Tilak tried to persuade Gandhi to adopt a radical approach for demanding Self Rule, but Gandhi refused pressing his belief in Satyagraha.

Hindu-Indian Nationalism

Bal Gangadhar Tilak was of the view that the freedom movement will be more successful if it is mixed with Hindu ideology and sentiments. Going by the philosophy of Hindu text, Ramayana and Bhagwad Gita, Tilak called the freedom movement, a karma-yoga, meaning the yoga of action.

Tilak also wrote his own version of Bhagwad Gita while in the Prison in Mandalay. In his interpretation, he tried to justify armed conflict for a cause as noble as independence.

Tilak introduced words like yoga, karma and dharma, and integrated freedom struggle with Hindu ideology. He had also a very close affinity towards Swami Vivekananda and considered him as an exception Hindu preacher and influencer. The two were close to each other and Tilak is also known to be grieved beyond words, on the death of young Swami Vivekananda.

Tilak was in the favor of social reforms but only under the condition of self-rule. He was of the opinion that any social reform must be only under self-rule and not in British Rule.


Bal Gangadhar Tilak was a freedom fighter, a journalist, teacher, and a social reformist who would rather settle for nothing less than the self-rule. His courage and patriotic nationalism made him the most popular leader of India, second only to Mahatma Gandhi.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions on Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Q.1 Who established the New English School?

Ans. The New English School was established by Bal Gangadhar tilak on 1 January, 1880.

Q.2 Which newspapers were started by Bal Gangadhar Tilak?

Ans. Maratha and Kesari were the name of two newspapers started by Bal Gangadhar Tilak in 1881.

Q.3 Which book was written by Bal Gangadhar Tilak in prison of Mandley?

Ans. Bal Gangadhar Tilak wrote the book named ‘Gita Rahasya’ while he was in the prison in Mandley.

Q.4 Which language did Bal Gangadhar Tilak wanted to make the medium of education?

Ans. Bal Gangadhar wanted to make Hindi language as the medium of education.

Q.5 What was the slogan of Bal Gangadhar Tilak?

Ans. ‘Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it’ was the slogan of Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

Related Information:

Essay on Independence day

Essay on Mahatma Gandhi

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