Why Dr. Ambedkar was not crazy about the greatness of Bal Gangadhar Tilak
Baba Saheb believed that because of Tilak, the Congress stopped social reform work. Due to this, the path of social change in India was closed and political reforms were also stopped.
Bal Gangadhar Tilak (23 July 1856 – 1 August 1920) is considered to be the main leader of the Congress’s hot party during the Indian freedom struggle. He was awarded the title of Lokmanya. Despite the difference between Swaraj and Independence, his slogan – ‘Swaraj is our birthright’ became the popular slogan of the freedom movement.
Much has been written about Tilak’s political views. Therefore, in the article presented, my attempt will be to bring forth their social views and to tell how Tilak was working at the time of the traditionalists from Mahadev Govind Ranade and Gopal Krishna Gokhale to Jyotiba Phule. Were leading It will also be seen in this context that Dr. B.R. Why has Ambedkar consistently written critical writing about Tilak.
This entire discussion can also be seen as a struggle of two factions within the Congress. There were two factions in the Congress on the question of women and caste – reformist and conservative. The reformist stream had four main grounds – elimination of caste discrimination, prohibition of girl marriage, support of widow marriage and women’s education. Mahadev Govind Ranade, W.C. Banerjee, Vishnu Hari Pandit, and later G. G. Agarkar and Gopal Krishna Gokhale etc. were in this favor. On the other hand, Vishnushastri Chiplunkar and Tilak were leading the orthodox view. The orthodox camp later named itself a nationalist camp.
Women’s education and tilak
Tilak opposed female education with full potential. Parimala V. Rao, in his paper, mainly quoted the Maratha newspaper of Tilak, how the radical faction of Congress led by Vishnushastri Chiplunkar and Tilak established girl schools between 1881 and 1920 and education for every community. Opposed efforts to give. Due to opposition to this faction, the proposal to provide education for everyone in 9 out of 11 municipalities in Maharashtra suffered. This faction advocated nationalist education, in which the emphasis was on studying theology and teaching skills.
The fundamentalist faction led by Tilak argued that the condition of women was very good during the Peshwa rule. These views of Tilak have appeared in the March 15, 1885 issue of his newspaper Maratha. Tilak argued against women education that women are weak and it is their job to pursue children, so educating them will hurt them because understanding modern education is beyond their power. His talk was published in the 31 August 1884 issue of Maratha newspaper.
Tilak said that if there is a special need, then women should be given education like home science and cleaning work. Only such women can become proficient by going ahead. According to him, women are not suitable for studying hard subjects like English, Mathematics, Science. He said that the functions of man and woman are different in Hindu society, so they should be given different education.
It should be noted that this was the same period when Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule opened the first girls’ school in 1848. At the same time, Congress liberals led by Ranade opened a girls’ high school in Pune in 1884. Gokhale also did not accept Tilak’s views on women’s education and supported the teaching of girls in Ferguson College.
Age of marriage and thoughts of tilak
At that time, girls were married at a very young age, due to which they had to undergo unbearable torture. In Peshwa Raj, it was mandatory for Brahmin families to marry their daughters below the age of 9 years. In a famous case, the girl Phoolmani was married at the age of 11, after her 35-year-old husband had forced sex with her, which led to her death. There were many incidents in which she became disabled by having sex with young girls.
There was a demand from social reformers that the age of sex be increased by marriage and consent. Therefore, the British Government enacted a law Age of Consent Act 1891 according to which sex with a girl below 12 years of age, whether married or unmarried, would come under the category of rape. The reformists of the Congress were also in favor of this bill, but Tilak opposed the intervention of the British Government in this matter. He said – “This law of this government may be right and useful, yet we do not want the government to interfere in our social traditions and lifestyles.”
Tilak’s views about non-Brahmins
Tilak believed strongly in the varna system. It was believed that the Brahmin caste is pure and the continuance of the caste system is in the benefit of the country and society. It said that the decline of caste means the decline of nationality. It was believed that caste is the basis of Hindu society and the destruction of caste means the destruction of Hindu society.
When Tilak was giving this idea, Before that, Jyotiba Phule opposed Maharashtra’s caste-based inequality. When Jyotiba Phule started the program of compulsory education, it had been opposed by Tilak. Tilak believed that there’s no point in teaching history, geography, mathematics to each child, because they’re not utilized in their life. Tilak said that giving education to history, geography or mathematics to the youngsters of Kunbi caste will harm them because they’re going to forget their ethnic skills. He said that the youngsters of Kunbi caste should do their traditional farmer profession and stand back from education. At the time when Tilak was giving this concept , British government was opening the varsity at an equivalent time, and was giving the proper to review children of all castes in it.
Tilak described it as a grave mistake of British government. On giving admission to the youngsters of Mahar and Mang caste within the public school, Tilak warned British government that Hindu religion wouldn’t be safe from sitting with Brahmin children of Mahar-Mang children.
Dr. Ambedkar about Tilak
Tilak was working within the Congress party at that point . Within the Congress itself, there was a corporation – Social Conference which worked for social reform. When the Congress session was happening in 1895, some people said that if the social conference inside the Congress did the work of social reform, then we’ll burn the Congress pandal. Such people were led by Tilak. within the end it had been decided that the Congress wouldn’t have any relation with any program of social reform, regardless of how important it’s going to be. during this way, Congress became only a platform , it stopped programs of social reform.
Dr. BR Ambedkar has wiped out detail in his book what Congress and Gandhi did to the untouchables. In another book, Ranade, Gandhi and Jinnah, he writes – “One group of intellectuals is fundamentalist and apolitical and another group is progressive and politics.” the primary group was led first by Chiplunkar and later by Tilak. These two caused all types of trouble for Ranade. This has not only damaged the works of social reforms, but experiences show that thanks to this political reforms also suffered the foremost . ‘
Comparing Tilak and Ranade, Ambedkar also writes that Tilak was undoubtedly in jail, but the battle of Ranade was harder . The one that puts up a political fight is beheaded by the society, while the person fighting for social reform is usually alone and has got to face all types of insults.
Tilak clearly believed that farmers and artisan castes shouldn’t enter politics. In 1918, when these castes raised the demand for political representation, Tilak had said during a meeting in Solapur that ‘what will he treat getting to Teli-Tamoli-Kunbi assembly’. consistent with Baba Saheb, consistent with Tilak, the work of the people of those castes is to follow the law and that they shouldn’t have the proper to form laws.
Overall, the social views of Tilak can’t be accepted in present-day India. It also means the person with the best value should even be seen in totality and if they’re necessary, they ought to not be accepted in totality.
(The author has been an educator at Delhi University. These are personal views of the author.)