Pandurang Mahadev Bapat
|Pandurang Mahadev Bapat|
|Born||November 12, 1880|
Parner, British India
|Died||28 November 1967 (aged 87)|
Bombay, Maharashtra, India
|Alma mater||Deccan College, University of Pune|
|Known for||Gandhian philosophy|
Pandurang Mahadev Bapat (12 November 1880 – 28 November 1967), popularly known as Senapati Bapat, was a figure in the Indian independence movement. He acquired the title of Senapati, meaning commander, as a consequence of his leadership during the Mulshi satyagraha. In 1977, the Indian government issued a postage stamp to commemorate him.
Early life and education
Senapati Bapat was born Pandurang Mahadeo Bapat in a Marathi Chitpawan family on 12 November 1880 in Parner. His family was originally from Ratnagiri. He was educated at Deccan College and then travelled to Britain on a government scholarship in order to study engineering.
As a revolutionary
During his stay in Britain, he was associated with India House, spending a majority of his time learning bomb-making skills instead of pursuing his official studies. He became associated at this time with the Savarkar brothers, Vinayak and Ganesh. Bapat, who had considered blowing up the Houses of Parliament in London, took his skills back to India and passed them on to others.[a]
While in hiding after the Alipore bombing of 1908, Bapat travelled the country and discovered that the majority of the Indian population did not realize that their country was under foreign rule. At this point, his focus shifted from overthrowing the British government to educating the population. In 1912, he was arrested in connection with the bombing and was sentenced to be imprisoned. He was free by 1915, and was a "seasoned revolutionary", according to Richard Cashman. He had joined the staff of Mahratta and was one of several influential figures from the Poona area who were aligned with Bal Gangadhar Tilak's attempts to establish local organisations supporting the cause of Indian independence.
Shift to Gandhian Philosophy
He re-aligned himself with Gandhi's vision of swaraj. In late 1920, following the death of Tilak and despite having been a fervent supporter of the Tilak's vision. This was a considerable shift, given his firebrand nature and willingness to use violence, but although he took the Gandhian oath of non-violence he remained willing to use force when he thought it necessary.
From 1921, Bapat led the three-year farmers' protest (satyagraha) against the construction of the Mulshi Dam by the Tata company. Ghanshyam Shah considers this to be "the first recorded organised struggled against [forced] displacement" caused by an irrigation project. The company had initially dug test trenches on land without obtaining permission and the farmers, who were mostly tenants, objected in fear of losing their lands. The dam was eventually constructed and thus the protest ultimately failed. Compensation for lands submersed by the dam's construction was eventually arranged but was given to the landlords rather than to the tenants. Although satyagrahas are intended to be non-violent, Bapat was jailed for vandalism of the construction project: rather than be captured for this, he turned himself in. His third jail sentence was for speaking at a public gathering held by Subhas Chandra Bose.
Major public roads in Pune and Mumbai have been named in his honour, and he featured in issue 303 of the Amar Chitra Katha comic book series in 1984. In 1977, the Government of India issued a postage stamp to commemorate him.
- Cashman, Richard I. (1975). The Myth of the Lokamanya: Tilak and mass politics in Maharashtra. University of California. p. 190. ISBN 9780520024076.
- "IndianPost". Indianpost.com. November 28, 1977.
- Y. D. Phadke (1981). Portrait of a revolutionary: Senapati Bapat. Senapati Bapat Centenary Celebration Samiti. p. 2.
Among such young men initiated into revolutionary activities was Pandurang Mahadeo Bapat who later on became widely known as Senapati (General) Bapat. On 12 November 1880, Pandurang Bapat was born in a Chitpawan or Konkanastha Brahmin family at Parner in the Ahmednagar district of the Bombay Presidency. His family was from Guhagar in the Ratnagiri district.
- 11_chapter 6.pdf - Shodhganga (PDF). p. 475.
- Laqueur, Walter (2011). A History of Terrorism. Transaction Publishers. p. 44. ISBN 9781412816113.
- Cashman, Richard I. (1975). The Myth of the Lokamanya: Tilak and mass politics in Maharashtra. University of California. p. 194. ISBN 9780520024076.
- Cashman, Richard I. (1975). The Myth of the Lokamanya: Tilak and mass politics in Maharashtra. University of California. pp. 206, 212. ISBN 9780520024076.
- Shah, Ghanshyam (2004). Social Movements in India: A Review of Literature (2nd ed.). SAGE. p. 114. ISBN 9780761998334.
- Gadgil, Madhav; Guha, Ramachandra (2013) . Ecology and Equity: The Use and Abuse of Nature in Contemporary India. Routledge. p. 69. ISBN 9781135634889.
- Rao, Suman. "Google Maps". Google Maps. Google.
- McLain, Karline (2009). India's Immortal Comic Books: Gods, Kings, and Other Heroes. Indiana University Press. p. 171. ISBN 9780253220523.
- "Senapati Bapat Road: From mills to malls". Indian Express. April 17, 2017.