Even when Lal Bahadur was a
student of Harischandra. High School at Varanasi a whirlwind had disturbed India.
Everywhere there was the cry of 'Freedom'! "Swaraj is our birth right" - Bala
Gangadhara Tilak had declared. This had become the nation's battlecry.
Lal Bahadur reverenced Tilak. He longed to see him and hear his speech. Once Tilak
visited Varanasi. Lal Bahadur was away in a village fifty miles from Varanasi. He borrowed
money and traveled in a train to see and hear Tilak. He saw him and heard his speech. It
reverberated in his ears like Krishna's conch, thePanchajanya. Like Bharata, carrying
Rama's sandals on his head, Lal Bahadur carried Tilak's message in his heart. This
message guided him all through his life.The greatest influence on Lal Bahadur was that of
Mahatma Gandhi. Lal Bahadur was electrified when he heard a speech of Gandhi at Varanasi
in 1915. Then and there he dedicated his life to the service of the country.