BJP MLA Raj Purohit has demanded a national memorial for Bal Gangadhar Tilak in a South Mumbai building where the leader resided.
The state government has responded positively to this, telling the Cultural Affairs Department to submit a proposal on the matter.
“Sardargruh is a historical building where Tilak resided for a substantial part of his life. The place is witness to many historic events. I would request the Maharashtra government to take over this building and convert it into a national museum with a huge library, which will inspire patriots,” Purohit said.
The four-storeyed building is located opposite the Police Commissioner’s office in Crawford Market, and had hosted many leading lights of India’s freedom struggle during their visits to the city.
Tilak lived in a room in this building, and breathed his last here in 1920. Tilak’s home was also the office of his newspaper, Kesari, which is still in existence.
At present, the building houses tenants and the state would have to undertake a lot of legal work to take over the property.
The government, however, has stated it would consider the proposal, with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asking the cultural affairs department to look into the request and submit a proposal regarding it.
Many activists have berated the state government over the poor upkeep of Sardargruh.
Purohit’s demand comes almost a week after his fellow BJP MLA and political bete noire Mangal Prabhat Lodha demanded the demolition of Jinnah House in Malabar Hill.