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Tilak neglected during Shivaji memorial event: Local outfit

Amid plans to build a grand memorial to Chhatrapati Shivaji, for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation last week, a local outfit has complained that pioneer of freedom struggle Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak was neglected during the event.

The Lokmanya Tilak Swaraj Bhoomi Smarak Samiti, in a statement, said the government ignored the fact that Tilak was laid to rest in Girgaum Chowpatty, from where the Prime Minister and others sailed in a hovercraft for the jal pujan for the Shivaji memorial in the sea off the Mumbai coast.

Prakash Silam, chairman of the outfit, also accused the ruling BJP of indulging in politics for garnering votes.

The samiti, which had pushed for renaming Girgaum Chowpatty as Swaraj Bhoomi, as a mark of respect to Tilaks clarion call for swaraj, also demanded installation of a stambh (pole) in memory of the freedom fighter.

Tilak, a veteran nationalist and social reformer, died on August 1, 1920. His last rites were performed at Girgaum Chowpatty along the seashore, instead of at crematorium because of the massive turnout at the funeral to pay homage to the nationalist.

The BJP-led Maharashtra government had in March 2015 decided to rename the area at Girgaum Chowpatty in the city where Tilak was cremated, as Swaraj Bhoomi.

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