Amid the government’s clarion call for Atmanirbhar Bharat, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday stressed the role of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak in achieving Swaraj on his 100th death anniversary.

Shah was addressing a webinar organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) with topic “Lokmanya Tilak: Swaraj to Atmanirbhar Bharat”. It sought to explore the legacy of Tilak in the 21st Century ‘New India’.

He remembered Tilak and said: “Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it”, saying this in the 19th century as well as spending one’s whole life to achieve it cannot be done by many.

“This utterance will always be associated with Lokmanya Tilak as golden letters in the history of freedom struggle of India,” he added.

ICCR president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe said Tilak was “perhaps the first political leader in modern India to appreciate the importance of identity issues”. He said that when Tilak asserted ‘Swaraj is my birth right’, it was essentially about fundamental Human Rights at a time when it was not a part of contemporary discourse.

PM Modi also paid tribute to Lokmanya Tilak by saying, “India bows to Lokmanya Tilak on his 100th Punya Tithi. His intellect, courage, sense of justice, and the idea of Swaraj continue to inspire.”

Bal Gangadhar Tilak, tirelessly contributed to help the country break free from the British rule. He gave the slogan of ‘Swaraj is my birth right’.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak was a part of the Lal-Bal-Pal (Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal) troika and was called the ‘father of the Indian unrest’ by British colonial rulers.