Famous Personalities of India : Vasudev Balwant Phadke
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In the rising of Vasudev Balwant Phadke in Maharashtra (1879) a short lived concord, all but unique in its time, was achieved between conscious intelligensia nationalism and plebian militancy. Phadke, a Chitpavan Brahmin and a Commissariat department clerk who had some English education, seems to have been influenced by Ranade's lectures on drain of wealth, the experience of the Deccan famine of 1876-77, and the growing Hindu revialist mood among Poona Brahmin intellectuals.

In an autobiographical fragment written while hiding from the police in a temple, Phadke later recalled how he had thought of reestablishing a Hindu Raj by collecting together a secret band, raising money through dacoities, and instigating an armed revolt through disrupting communications. 'There is much ill feeling among the people and if a few make a beginning those who are hungry would join'. Much of this clearly anticipates later revolutionary terrorism. What is remarkanble, however, is that Phadke's band of 40 included a few Brahmin youths and many more lower castes Ramoshis and Dhangars.

The outcome was a type of social bandatory, with the dacoits given shelter by the peasants. After Phadke's capture and life sentence a Ramoshi dacoit band under Daulat Ramoshi remained active till 1883, while we also hear of a tribal Koli group committing 28 dacoities in 7 months before being smashed.

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