The triumvirate of Lal Bal Pal ( Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal) of assertive nationalists whose contribution in Indian Freedom Struggle is unparalleled. Contemporary writers of that period and historians have chosen to call the trio as the ‘extremists’ which sort of evokes a negative connotation diminishing their tall contribution in our history. Post-independence historians could have changed the way they are presented to the new generation. But I guess they chose to toe the line of ‘British’ rhetoric. Because according to me there was little about them to have been called as the ‘extremists’.
Can we change the way they are remembered?
They were the first advocates of the nation-wide boycott of English goods and Swadeshi movement; they opposed the partition of Bengal and mobilised the public opinion in unimaginable ways. They also opposed the so-called ‘moderate’ ways of Congress which remained confined to petitions, letters and requests that yielded very little results in the first 30 years of its inception.
If Mahatma Gandhi could successfully mobilise the public by 1919 in just four years of his arrival in India, it is because he built upon the work of the trio in the years 1904-1917. If not for their ways, it would have been more difficult for Mahatma Gandhi to mobilise to the level that he could do so soon.
Of the trio, today is the 158th birth anniversary of Bipin Chandra Pal. Join me in fondly remembering the national hero.