Homage to Forgotten Hero- Annabhau Sathe Nagar

by Dr. Suman Bhanoo, PRIA

It’s a very common phenomenon to see names of most of the towns, places and government schemes after politician’s name. Naming of roads, buildings, and institutions can keep one alive after death or in other words it is a humble attempt to acknowledge their contribution to the society, but I wonder why we cannot name them after freedom fighters, social reformers, scientists, Nobel laureates and academicians? These legendary heroes have selflessly devoted their whole life for the society. They should be definitely remembered for their sacrifice and bravery. These leaders would undoubtedly remind our future generations about their struggle. Well, I am not against any political party/leader, I am against naming something after any particular clan. Few names have become so common in our country, which unknowingly creating disturbance in the society. At times it feels all other people have done nothing, except few selected one.

Breaking these set of norms, Indore’s informal settlers has named their settlement after Annabhau Sathe who was a social reformer and a writer from Maharashtra. Most of the residents of A.S Nagar have Maharashtran roots. During Britisher’s time they had migrated to Madhya Pradesh from Maharshta.  This community has music in its blood. Almost all people have sound knowledge of various musical instruments.

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Annabhau’s Poster in Background 

Suresh, a community leader from A.S Nagar said, “To break the hierarchy, we have named our settlement after our leader’s name. Personally I don’t think that political leaders have done something that great to the country which puts them before these great leaders”. Describing further about their neglected hero he said, “Sathe was born in the rural area of Wategaon near Sangli in a family belonging to the dalit community. Due to his birth in lower caste, he didn’t get any formal education. Despite lack of formal education, Sathe wrote 35 Marathi novels and famous Bollywood movie Fakira is based on his novel. Besides this there are 15 collections of Sathe’s short stories. A huge number of his short stories have been translated into many Indian and foreign languages”. Other than novels and short stories, Sathe wrote plays, travelogue on Russia and 12 screenplays.

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Close Look of Annabhau Sathe Nagar

Throwing light on great leader’s life another resident said, “Sathe wrote straight from his experiences in life and his novels narrates the fighting spirit in their characters who work against all odds in life. Sathe worked among the poor and he generated social awareness. He organized stage performances and tamasha mainly performed by women, which are quite popular in rural Maharashtra. Sathe was attracted to communism and had visited USSR”. Suresh rhetorically utters Sathe’s maxim- Yeh azadi jhuthi hai, desh ki jant bhuki hai.

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