करंट टॉपिक्स

Lahuji Salve

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I will live and die for the country – this is the statement of Lahuji Salve.

Mahatma Phule’s social reforms, Lokmanya Tilak’s concept of Swarajya, and Vasudev Balwant Phadke’s revolutionary acts impacted the psyche of Indians. Lahuji Salve was the teacher of all these three personalities.

Lahuji Salve, from 1794 to 1881, is famous for the renaissance in Indian history. Other revolutionaries sacrificed their life, wealth, and family for the country. But Lahuji Salve had to fight at both levels of country and society fronts. Because not only will all the problems be solved by the country’s independence, but it also requires social and economic equality. That was missing at that time. So, the revolutionary vision of Lahuji Salve was like a double weapon. Who attacked both the British and the Indian conventional systems. Although Lahuji Salve belonged to the deprived class, known as an untouchable, he was a dutiful, courageous combatant who was proficient in military education. Lahuji Salve was born patriotic, his grandfather was in

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s army, and his father was also in the Maratha military.

He used to give social equality lessons and wrestling to the youth. That is why the thinking of Mahatma Jyotirao Phule and his upper-caste friends Sadashivrao Govande, Sakharam Paranjpe, and Moro Vitthal Walvekar, who entered intending to overthrow the British rule in the rehearsal of Lahuji Salve, seems to have changed entirely, and they turned to the idea of social equality. The reason for this was the progressive thinking of Lahuji Salve. Mahatma Jyotirao Phule took military education from Lahuji Salve in the javelin, swordsmanship, horse riding, etc., along with wrestling. Later, with the association of Lahuji, Mahatma Phule’s thoughts took a different turn. ‘Man needs social freedom far more than political freedom.’ He realized that enemies worse than the British in

India were ignorance, caste discrimination, femininity, and social inequality.

From 1847 to 1881, Lahuji Salve and Mahatma Phule were very close. Therefore, Lahuji Salve is actively involved in the social and educational work started by Mahatma Phule. It includes the first girls’ school started by Mahatma Phule, the school for boys and girls from the lower and untouchable castes, providing space for the school, collecting donations for the school, spreading

education among the untouchable communities, launching a strike of the Barber community against the practice of cutting the hair of widow’s, protecting the Phule couple from the upper caste people who are opposing them, Lahuji was actively involved in many activities such as protecting social reformers, spreading the truth-seeking society to the lower and untouchable classes, etc.

Lahuji Salve was a reformer who thought beyond caste religion. He was especially bitterly opposed to the caste system. If you look at the history of the people who came with him, it sheds light on the efforts of Lahuji Salve to unite the untouchable and the community in those days. One of the vital rehearsal principles when Lahuji Salve established the training centre, was that people of all castes had free access to this centre. That is why youths of all castes used to come for military education and treat each other equally in their rehearsals.

Lahuji Salve had to face two types of caste discrimination during this period. Initially, the upper caste group opposed the reform work of the Phule couple because the Phule couple was trying to give the right to education to the untouchables. On the other hand, Lahuji also faced the caste conflict among the untouchables. Lahuji Salve roams around for the settlements among the untouchables and asks them to give up discrimination. As a result, many young people from the untouchable caste participated in Lahuji’s work in a big way. Lahuji Salve worked to destroy the differences of the untouchable community through social enlightenment and bring them into the stream of society. In the school of the untouchables founded by Mahatma Phule and Savitribai Phule, the children of many castes used to study together and set aside caste differences among themselves. Lahuji Salve’s fight against the evil practice was broader. On the one hand, Lahuji Salve and Mahatma Phule supported the abolition of unethical practices in the untouchable community. Lahuji Salve has consistently worked to spread awareness through the Satyashodhak Samaj founded by Mahatma Phule.

Vijendra Sonawane

Reference – Lahulji Salve Yancha Karyacha etihasik abhyas 1794 to 1881- Taderao Devrao Bhujangrao

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