The man who is most frequently associated with the struggle for the freedom of Press during the nationalist movement is Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
In 1881, along with G G Agarkar, he founded the newspapers Kesari and Mahratta.
In 1893, he started the practice of using the traditional religious Ganapati festival to propagate nationalist ideas through patriotic songs and speeches.
In 1896, he started the Shivaji festival to stimulate nationalism among young Maharashtrians.
He brought peasants and farmers into the national movement.
He organized a no-tax campaign in Maharashtra in 1896-97
Plague in Poona in 1897.
Popular resentment against the official plague measures resulted in the assassination of Rand, the Chairman of the Plague Committee in Poona, and Lt. Ayerst by the Chaphekar brothers on 27 June 1898.
Since 1894, anger had been rising against the government due to the tariff, currency and famine policy.
Tilak was arrested and sentenced to 18 month rigorous imprisonment in 1897. This led to country wide protests and Tilak was given the title of Lokmanya.
Tilak was again arrested and tried on 24 June 1908 on the charge of sedition under article 124A. He was sentenced to 6 years of transportation. This led to nationwide protests and closing down of markets for a week. Later, in 1922 Gandhi was tried on the same act and he said that he is proud to be associated with Tilak’s name.
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