Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak was a freedom fighter alongwith the who’s who of Indian freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Sardar Patel, Netaji, etc. He was literate. He was a key resource actively driving India’s freedom movement. Felt he was a very good strategist in popularizing the freedom movement by mobilizing the common man by starting his publication of the ‘Kesari’ which had articles written by him and others to reach the masses. Reach was wide and messages were spread faster than the usually slow communications in those days. Public meetings were prohibited and targeted so he found a way out for that also. So he started a mass form of public gatherings to celebrate festivals like Ganpati Visarjans, etc. More crowd of people for religious events meant spreading the word much faster, remaining united for a cause, providing an excuse for all and sundry to get out of their homes for a reason! This was a mass movement to out smart the British rulers of his times.
He had read the Bhagawat Geeta and has written a commentary on the same which is prescribed as part of the syllabus for the course and exam for Bhagwat Geeta now.
Time given to take a round was 15 minutes but it was sufficient to go around a very small and dedicated museum on the first floor. The building houses his publications and functions till date in the same place as he worked from. His room where he worked is cordoned off with a glass barrier. The table, chair, a bed to rest, his book shelves are preserved in as-is condition. A fiberglass statue has been sat on his chair to give more effect. The room was dark. Camera flash due to glass barrier. Had to insert text to black out a major chunk of lightening! Picture of the script of Bhagawat Geeta in his handwriting also not come out well due to glass show case, plus having to juggle my purse in one hand and struggling with my mobile with the other to take pics in the limited time and of being told. ‘Go, go, go..’ to get back to the bus for the next place to go!
Facing the entrance door is a large portrait of Lokmanya Tilak in oil canvas. Many trophies and awards mostly in pure silver adorn both sides of the portrait. And then there’s a small silver box on a table which has his ashes locked away.
Somehow i don’t feel alright with the practice of keeping of human ashes or the bed on which they slept till their death. In Baba Ambedkar’s Museum too I found the bed on which he died, preserved in a room with glass barrier. These can be avoided as display items is my feeling.