Waman Meshram, National President, Bharat Mukti Morcha
Meaning of Swaraj from the perspective of Tilak
It is necessary for you people to understand that the campaign and struggle that took place in Maharashtra from the medium of Jyotibha Phule, Sahuji Maharaj; biggest campaign and struggle to oppose this took place from the medium of Bal Gangadhar Tilak at that time, and we are told that Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s agitation at that time was Freedom struggle. The evidence of Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s public speeches made at Bhusaval, Ankola and Yavatmal is available. What did he say? He personally said “The meaning of swaraj is not that British be driven out of India”. He further said in his speech “It is written in Manusmriti that if King inducts educated Brahmins in administration then if any King fashions his administration this way and if this is acceptable to British then it is not necessary that they be driven away from India.”
When congress conference took place then in 1930 congress passed the resolution of freedom ‘Azadi’. It is taught in history that freedom struggle started in 1885. If freedom struggle started in 1885 then why did resolution on freedom got passed 45 years late? If resolution on freedom got passed in Congress conference in Lahore in 1930 then how can it be said that freedom struggle started in 1885? Amongst all the leaders of Congress at that time Tilak was biggest Congress leader.
But we see that his campaign was the campaign of getting representation to his own people for which he gave the name ‘swaraj’. Second point; our people should not get representation in the Constituent Assembly, similarly even in Brahmanical social system our people should not get freedom, this he used to speak with utmost attention, this is clearly visible from history. That’s why it can be said that on one side there was an agitation transformation and on the other hand there was also an agitation to counter it.