Remembering Vasudev Balwant Phadke

17 Feb 2016  Wed

Vasudev Balwant Phadke, the “Father of the armed struggle”, “the First modern revolutionary of the modern India” breathed his last on 17th February 1883.

He preached that 'Swaraj' was the only remedy for the British ills. It was he who inspired Bankim Chandra Chatterjee’s patriotic novel “Anand Math”. With the help of Ramoshis, Kolis, Bhils and Dhangars communities in Maharastra, he formed a revolutionary group called as Ramoshi.

He got control of the city of Pune for a few days when he caught the British soldiers off guard during one of his surprise attacks. He worked for the backward classes and understood the importance of getting backward castes into mainstream freedom movement. He attended many lectures of Mahadev Govind Ranade and attended public agitations in Pune. He founded an institution, the Aikya Vardhini Sabha, to educate the youth.

While working as clerk, he was not able to see his dying mother due to the delay in approval of his leave. This incident enraged him and happened to be the turning point in his life. He took up arms and following an incident of breaking into a government treasury to help the famine struck farmers of Deccan he was branded as a ‘dacoit’ by the British.

Following various raids and armed rebellions he was sentenced for life after a trial at Pune. Phadke escaped from the Aden prison by taking the door off from its hinges on 13 February 1883. But his escape was short lived: he was recaptured and put back in prison. Phadke then went on a hunger strike to death. On 17 February 1883 Phadke breathed his last breath as a result of his protest hunger strike.

The Indian Department of Posts issued a commemorative stamp in his honour on 21 Feb 1984!

For more details click here.

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