The BJP government in Maharashtra has decided to rename the area at Girgaum Chowpatty as ‘Swaraj Bhoomi‘ to honor the veteran freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has accepted a proposal in this regard by the Mumbai Municipal Corporation.
Since 2014, the Lokmanya Tilak Gaurav Samiti, an Independent Organization was demanding to name the little garden adjoining Girgaum Chowpatty as ‘Swaraj Bhoomi’ as he was cremated there.
About Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak
- Lokmanya Tilak was a great freedom fighter, thinker, social reformer and a journalist.
- He was the first leader of the Indian Independence Movement. He is also known as Father of India Unrest.
- He was one of the first and strongest advocates of “Swaraj” (self-rule) and a strong radical in Indian consciousness.
- Kesari (The Lion) in Marathi and Mahratta in English were the two weeklies pioneered by Tilak with Gopal Ganesh Agarkar as the first editor in 1880-81.
- He founded the Deccan Education Society in the 1880s which is still running in Pune.
- Om Raut directed a film named Lokmanya: Ek Yug Purush based on his life. It was released in January 2015 with the protagonist as Tilak played by Subodh Bhave.
- He breathed his last on August 1, 1920. His last rites were performed at Girgaum Chowpatty along the seashore instead of crematorium because of massive public turnout at the funeral.