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Lokmanya Tilak

The incident, which brought me in personal touch with Lokmanya Tilak, was when he surprised me with a request through a messenger that I should proceed to Europe with the help of Rs. 50000, which he was ready to offer me. My surprise was still greater, when I was assured that Tilak did not want help for any propaganda which was his own, that he would be sorry if I followed the path which he himself was pursuing at the moment for the benefit of his country. He wanted me to be true to myself and through my effort to serve humanity, in my own way to serve India. I felt that this proposal from Tilak carried with it the highest honour that I had ever received from my countrymen. I do not know if I was worthy of it but it revealed to me the greatness of Tilak's personality which deeply impressed my mind. He had more faith in truth than in method. His ideal of the fulfillment of India's destiny was vast, and therefore it had ample room even for a dreamer of dreams, even for 'music-maker'. He knew that freedom had its diverse aspects, and therefore it could be truly reached, if individuals had their full scope to use their special gifts for opening out paths that were diverse in their direction.

Ravindranath Tagore
about Lokmanya Tilak
Reminiscences, Vol. II, PP 608-609

"I have been a professional columnist in newspapers for number of years. During my journalist career I have encountered only two persons who had the audacity to stun me with insolent question -----one is Tilak and the other is German Emperor Kaiser Williams. Many people will simply amaze to see me uttering this two names in one breath but this are truly worthy to be pronounced together"

Sir Valentine Chirol.
An interview given to Observer in London.
Translated from "Lokmanya Tilak Yanche Charitra " in Marathi by N.C. Kelkar

Lokmanya Tilak is well known as a politician of a great power and personality, who did his best to promote the political freedom of his country. Yet , Tilak was by nature a scholar and only by necessity a politician.

The prison cell was the place where his brave soul could pursue its congenial vocation. In the ten years of enforced leisure spent in Mandalay and elsewhere, Tilak did his best literary work by which he will be remembered even after his fame, as politician, grows dim.

While his chief investigations in oriental scholarship are in the domain of Vedas and the Bhagwad Gita, he also wrote several miscellaneous essays on kindred topics the chief of them being an article on 'A missing verse in the sankhya-karikas.'

His discussions are marked by a very liberal spirit. He does not accept everything established, nor does he slavishly adhere to authorities, Eastern or Western, in the interpretation of ancient texts.


Dr. Sarvapally Radhkrishnan
on Lokmanya Tilak
From "Eminent Orientalists"

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