A Scholar And a Hero Even In jail
The prison in Mandalay, Burma; a small
room made of wooden planks; inside, a cot, a table, a chair and a bookshelf
this was Tilak's room. There was no protection from wind and cold. And
he was cut off from other men.
By the time Tilak completed one year
in this jail, he got a note through one of his friends. The note said that
if he accepted certain conditions, then he would be released. Tilak wrote
back saying, 'I am now 53 years old. If I live for another ten Years, that
means I shall live for five years after I come out of the prison. I can
at least spend those five years in the service of the peo ple. if I accept
government's conditions, I am as good dead'.
The rigorous imprisonment was reduced
to simple imprison ment. So he was allowed to read and write. It was here
that he wrote the book 'Gita-Rahasya'. It is a mighty work.
Tilak wished to forget his loneliness
and so was always immersed in reading and writing. By the time his term
of six years in the jail was over, he had collected about 400 books. He
learnt in the prison,German and French languages with the help of 'Teach
He returned to his old daily routine,
which he had given up for want of time. Every morning he used to pray to
God, chant hymns like the Gayathri Manthra and perform religious rites;
then, he would read and write.
Tilak's, wife passed away in India
when he was still rotting in the jail in Mandalay.