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July 2018 Persons in News

  • Birth of BalGangadharTilakFreedom fighter and lawyer, Bal GangadharTilak, was born on 23rd July 1856. He gave India the slogan, “Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it!” 

    • Bal GangadharTilak was born to GangadharTilak, a Sanskrit scholar and school teacher, and his wife in 1856. His birthplace was Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. He was named Keshav.
    • He graduated in mathematics from the Deccan College at Pune in 1877. In 1879, he secured an LLB degree from the Government Law College at Mumbai.
    • Though initially he started his career as a school teacher, he left it to work as a journalist and enter public affairs.
    • He coordinated the work of the Deccan Education Society with his associate Gopal Ganesh Agarkar and others. He was keen on setting up good educational institutes in the country since he believed that education must be imparted with an emphasis on Indian culture. He was one of the founders of the Fergusson College in Pune through the Deccan Education Society.
    • Tilak was deeply involved in the political struggle for freedom in the country. He was one of the earliest and the most vocal proponents of complete independence or swarajya. He was considered a radical because of his views.
    • He emphasised the importance of a cultural and religious revival to go in tandem with the political movements.
    • Tilak became a part of the Indian National Congress (INC) in 1890. He opposed the moderates and led the extremist faction of the party.
    • He stressed on the need for self-rule and believed that without self-rule of swarajya, no progress was possible.
    • He also propagated swadeshi movements and encouraged people to boycott foreign goods.
    • Tilak published two newspapers, Kesari in Marathi and Mahratta in English. In both these, he severely criticised the government. In one of his articles, he said that those killing oppressors could not be blamed for their actions. The Chapekarbrothers case happened after this article. The authorities charged him with incitement to murder and sentenced him to 18 months in prison.
    • Along with LalaLajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal, he was part of the Lal-Bal-Pal trio of leaders with extremist outlooks.
    • Between 1908 and 1914, he spent 6 years in Mandalay Prison for authoring articles in which he defended the actions of revolutionaries Khudiram Bose and PrafullaChaki. Several times, he was tried for sedition.
    • In 1916, he returned to the INC having separated from it earlier. He founded the All India Home Rule Leaguein April 1916 at Belgaum. His League would work in Maharashtra (except Bombay), the Central Provinces, Karnataka and Berar.
    • In September 1918, Tilak travelled to England to file a libel case against Sir Ignatius Valentine Chirol, an English journalist who had written the book ‘Indian Unrest’. In this book, Chirol had dubbed Tilak the ‘father of Indian unrest’. It also contained deprecatory comments. Tilak filed a suit against him but ultimately lost the case. This absence of Tilak from India led to the Home Rule movement losing steam.
    • Tilak was a devout Hindu and used Hindu scriptures to rouse people to fight oppression. He also exhorted people to follow Karma Yoga or the Yoga of Action to fight for freedom. He also wrote his own interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita called ShrimadhBhagvad Gita Rahasya.
    • He also composed another book in which he wrote that the Aryans came to India from the Arctic region. This book was titled ‘The Arctic Home in the Vedas’ and was published in 1903.
    • He popularised the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in the Maharashtra region and to this day, it is one of the most important festivals in the state.
    • Tilak was also an admirer of ChhatrapatiShivaji. He propounded the celebration of Shiv Jayanti on the birth anniversary of the monarch.
    • He was called ‘Lokamanya’ by the people.
    • Tilak was one of the first INC leaders to suggest that Hindi in the Devanagari script be India’s sole language.
    • He passed away on 1st August 1920 at the age of 64.

  • Indian Navy Commander Abhilash Tomy to participate in Golden Globe Race 2018Commander Abhilash Tomy of the Indian Navy is the only invitee from Asia to participate in the prestigious Golden Globe Race (GGR) that commences from Les Sables d’Olonne harbour in France on 1st July. The participants are required to sail around the world, single-handed and non-stop. The uniqueness of the race is that boat designs and technology newer than 1968 is not permitted, hence use of Global Positioning System (GPS), satellite communication, navigational aids, etc is forbidden. 

    The Golden Globe Race is being conducted by Sir Robin Knox Johnston of UK to commemorate 50 years since the world’s first solo non-stop circumnavigation undertaken by him in 1968 onboard the Indian built boat, Suhaili. 

    Commander Abhilash Tomy is one of India’s most prominent sailors. He has covered 53,000 nautical miles under sail, including a solo non-stop circumnavigation of the globe in 2012-13 onboard Indian Naval Sailing Vessel (INSV) Mhadei. He is also a recipient of the Kirti Chakra, Mac Gregor and Tenzing Norgay awards. 

    The race is expected to complete at Les Sables d’Olonne in April 2019. 
  • Saraswati Prasad assumes charge as SAIL CMDSaraswati Prasad, Special Secretary and Financial Advisor, Ministry of Steel, has taken over the additional charge of the post of Chairman and MD of SAIL. Prasad succeeds P K Singh who retired on Saturday. 
  • P.K. Shrivastava takes charge as the new Director General of Ordnance FactoriesP.K. Shrivastava has taken over as the new Director General of Ordnance Factories (DGOF) and chairman of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) with effect from July 1. 

    Previously, he was Additional DGOF and member at OFB, and was in charge of Armoured Vehicles, headquartered in Avadi, Chennai. 

    Mr. Shrivastava has a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and joined the Indian Ordnance Factories’ Service in 1982. In a career spanning 36 years, he has contributed in various capacities in Ammunition Factory Khadki, Vehicle Factory Jabalpur, Ordnance Factory Varangaon, Ordnance Factory Khamaria, Armoured Vehicles headquarters and at OFB headquarters as the Member of the Personnel division. 
  • Indian American Amul Thapar for nomination as a US Supreme Court justiceIndian American Amul Roger Thapar was among the four candidates President Donald Trump interviewed for nomination as a Supreme Court justice. The President said he would interview “two or three more” candidates before announcing his pick for the nine-member Supreme Court of the U.S. (SCOTUS) on July 9. 

    Mr. Amul Roger Thapar was appointed a judge on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals by Mr. Donald Trump in 2017. He was earlier a prosecutor in Ohio where he grew up, a U.S. attorney in Kentucky, and a trial-court judge.


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