*Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc., expressing their heart about a photo prompt, every week. Thanks for this week’s beautiful PHOTO PROMPT ©Jan Wayne Fields. The picture brought one word to my mind – FREEDOM! I give here a bit of Indian history!

The primary school at Ratnagiri, the teacher enters the class after the interval. Groundnut shells scattered in the classroom.

“Who scattered the groundnut shells like this?”

“Speak, who ate the groundnuts?”

Teacher decides to punish the entire class and starts to give each boy two cuts with his cane. Bal’s turn. He does not hold out his hand.

“I did not eat the groundnuts. So I will not receive the cuts.”

“Then who ate the groundnuts?”

“It is said that carrying tales is bad. So I won’t tell.”

Even at that young age it was Tilak’s nature to protest against injustice.

*Swaraj means national or local self-government in India

Bal Gangadhar Tilak, considered the Father of Indian National Movement, founded of the “Deccan Education Society” to impart quality education to India’s youth. He was a member of the Municipal Council of Pune, Bombay Legislature, an elected ‘Fellow’ of the Bombay University.

Tilak formed Home Rule League in 1916 to attain the goal of Swaraj.
A multifaceted personality, he was a social reformer, freedom fighter, national leader, and a scholar of Indian history, sanskrit, hinduism, mathematics and astronomy.
Popularly called Lokmanya (Beloved of the people), his slogan “Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it” inspired millions of Indians in the fight for freedom.
‘Swadeshi, Swaraj (self-rule), Boycott and National Education’- these were the sacred words preached by Tilak. And the people made weapons of these words.
Galvanizing people’s love of their country was itself a revolution brought about by Tilak.


23 thoughts on “SWARAJ, MY BIRTHRIGHT!

  1. Thank you for this interesting piece of history and telling us about such a great character.


  2. Really good story, Sabina. I had never heard of this guy. You have educated me some, which is terrific and always appreciated.

    Tell me, what exactly ARE groundnuts?


  3. Thank you. Really look forward to your comments!
    Groundnuts are Asian peanuts. We eat them boiled or roasted. You can get groundnut oil and the seeds are used to garnish rice dishes.
    Nothing like roasted groundnuts, salted or spiced, with hot tea on a rainy day!


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