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November 25, 2020

The Chhattisgarh

Beyond The Region

His political activism, activities in Mumbai, camaraderie with Swami Vivkananda and legacy

The prefix “Lokmanya” meaning “accepted by masses” comes from the fact that Lokmanya Tilak was modern India’s first mass leader who was looked up to by the masses. His following was unparalleled at that point of time. He was one of the first leaders to give a call for “sampoorna swaraj”, a paradigm shift from “partial rule” which was being demanded by the leaders then.

A good amount of Tilak’s lifetime was spent in Mumbai but unfortunately, the city appears to have forgotten this great son of Mother India. It is unfortunate that Mumbaikars don’t take pride in owning up Lokmanya Tilak as much as people from Ratnagiri (Tilak’s birthplace) or Pune do. There is a reason why Mumbai has a railway station in Lokmanya Tilak’s name and that is because Mumbai has a lot of memories of Lokmanya Tilak.In 1982, (before the World Congress of Religions), Lokmanya Tilak was returning from Bombay to Poona from Victoria Terminus (CST) when he first saw Swami Vivekananda. Swami Vivekananda also came and sat in the same compartment. A few Gujaratis who had come to see off Swami ji introduced Swami ji and Tilak. They hit it off very well and after reaching Poona, Tilak invited Swami Vivekananda to come to stay at his house, an invitation which Swami ji obliged and went to stay for 8-10 days.