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Dr Yelegaonkar's Solapurche Swantantryaladhyatil Deepastambh: A Review
Saturday April 5, 2014 11:03 AM, Dr Nabha Kakde

The present time witnesses the acceptance of several socio-political values. There have opened different avenues of proving one's abilities and elevation. However, this has not happened automatically. Our leadership is said to have staged several movements and agitations in order to help us seek these benefits.

Solapur Book

The struggle for Indian independence has given birth to so many towering and dedicated personalities. Prof Dr Shrikant Yelegaonkar's book titled "Solapurche Swantantryaladhyatil Deepastambh" is a commendable attempt at reminding the readers of the astounding work of the devoted persons in the context of the national freedom struggle and the nation-building process in the post-independent period.

There has been seen a marked tendency of negligence towards the contribution of Solapur to the national freedom struggle among the historians, thinkers and writers at the national level. Even 'Martial Law' hasn't been much reckoned. Against this background the memorable work rendered by the freedom fighters of Solapur is put forward for the first time by Dr Yelegaonkar. When the issues like existence and national independence become intense there are people who come forward to succor the society and nation in distress and they rise to the height of leaders. This is quite true of Solapur. And there is a dictum that the national history is incomplete without the local history. The present book strengthens this belief.

This book not only contributes to the local history by virtue of an introduction to the 66 personalities of Solapur, but also relates the stories of their social participation. The writer takes stock of political and social history of Solapur. In other words, the writer has dealt with various personalities involved in Solapur's political developments, its organizational social politics and cultural life. The Tilak era and the Gandhian era gave rise to several glorious personalities, since the entire nation was under their impact. The book illuminates the fact that even Solapur was a place fertile for the production of such splendid personalities. The movement in Solapur reaches its climax through the 1930 Martial Law period witnessing non-violent programmes like: hartals, demonstrations, public speeches, etc. The book thus gives an understanding that the local movement in Solapur was inseparably connected to the national struggle for independence and the National Congress.

The stories of these freedom fighters thrill the readers. We come to know how Bhai Bhosale, as a fifth standard student courageously faced the corporal punishment for having hoisted the Indian Tricolour in protest against the British government. Adhwalkar Guruji and Menkudale were awarded seven years' rigorous imprisonment for only having sown hand-bombs in Pandharpur and the bombs had exploded. Madhavrao Patil attended the meeting held by Shirubhau Limaye for planning the bomb explosions at West End and Capitol theatres. The initial part of the first book written by Sawarkar titled "Battle for Freedom of 1857" was done in Solapur. All these developments really make us proud of Solapur. Besides, the writer has focused the impressive and inspiring contribution of women fighters: Shantabai Patki attending the Faizpur Conference of the Congress in 1936, Ramabai Pitre who spent her life for the nationalist dedication, Dwarkabai Deshpande, Pandita Sumatibai Shah, Meenakshitai Sane, the astounding personality, Shantabai Buddhisagar, the firebrand.

Along with the Indian National Congress leaders, the writer has taken cognizance of the Socialist, the Communist, the Royist, the Aryasamajist, the Hindu Mahasabha contribution too. The sacrifice of the leaders like- Dr Antrolikar, Bhai Chandele, Jaju, the patriot, Tulashidas Jadhav, Ashanna Irabatti, Allauddin Mulla, Doshi, V.R. Patil, R.N. Pawar is really awe-inspiring. But, the writer has also portrayed the personalities like Appasahabe Warad, Tatyasaheb Kakde, P.J. Buwa, Ranganna Vaidya, V.R. Kulkarni, Nanasaheb Aradhye, who dreamed of a rise in the times of ebb and whose role in the local and national development is equal to that of the freedom fighters.

The writer has, along with depicting the work and ideals of these personalities, from time to time conveyed a message to the readers; "that the ideal of Kurban Hussein, if adopted by the youth, will certainly create a conducive atmosphere for national integrity; by declining the offer for the post of Governor, Dr Antrolikar exhibited his sense of dedication; after the arrest of Rajwade his house assumed the air of a temple and it became an emblem of national service and sacrifice; if today's youngsters endeared the pledge 'I would dedicate my life to the service of my motherland' by Kunjavihari, it won't take long to convert the self-governance into good governance; Bhai Vibhute would be busy moulding the mind-set and strength of the youth" are quite scintillating statements among others.

Each of the freedom fighters is depicted with an independent identity by virtue of elaborating their zeal for independence, readiness to undergo hardships and sacrifice and an unabated belief in the mission undertaken. The book brings the readers to the awareness that the service of each of these personalities is equal to that of the other. The book is originally written in a very simple, straight-forward and fluent diction. The narration is neither complicated, nor is it drowned into verbosity. Thus, the dedicated life of the character-sketches is made greatly inspiring by virtue of the linguistic ease. The English translation done by Prof Manohar P. Joshi is quite in keeping with the original writing. The translator appears to have taken admirable efforts in making the English version honest to the original work and comprehensible to the readers. Apart from these features, the book includes the photographs depicting different events showing the nostalgic images of these personalities. The book which is made up of 214 pages has a frontispiece which communicates the essence and the contents therein. Aksharlena Publications has undoubtedly brought out an admirable book for the readers.

Title of the Book: Solapurche Swantantryaladhyatil Deepastambh
Writer: Prof Dr Shrikant Yelegaonkar
Publisher: Aksharlena Publications, Solapur
Pages: 214
Price: 230/-

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