Shri. Veer Vamanrao Joshi
Gymnasium Akharas and revolutionaries had a close relation with each other. Right from the start of Shri Hanuman Vyayam Prasarak Mandal, in from the foundation of Hanuman Club,founders of these institutions had a great impact of radical patriots of that time. Vaidya brothers had affection for these revolutionaries and they had taken inspiration from wellknown Chaphekar brothers. But the man who inspired Vaidya brothers, founders of H.V.P.M., most and the man who had close relations with mandal from start to his death in 1956 was the great patriot Veer Vamanrao Joshi. He was a radical revolutionary, had formed a big youth organization for armed revolution, gave training of using weapons to youths, ran Akharas,created a library on war literature and started laboratory for bomb making. Revolutionary Barindrakumar Ghosh used to give him great respect because of his patriotic activities.
Strong Will of revolution
Young generations do not have much knowledge about the revolutionary work done by Veer Vamanrao Joshi. Nobody has written detail biography of vamanraodada yet. Tryambak Guruji has written one of the incident related to him in a special issue of a journal in may, 1976.
Tryambak guruji writes:-
“Late Harihar Deshpande once asked Bhaurao Ashtikar , who was working in the Tilak Rashtriya Vidyalaya, that whether Veer Vamanrao Joshi lead the armed uprising in vidarbha between 1902 and 1908 to 1914. Ashtikar asked Deshpande whether he wants to see the proof of the revolt. In the night, P.J. Joshi, one of the Deshpande’s friend, climed down a deep well, where he saw a variety of weapons kept hidden there. Then Ashtikar took both of them to river along with material for digging. When they reached there, they started digging at a certain place and found a large trunk buried there. The trio returned at 1 a.m. after seeing everything. ”
Not necessary to mention that there were arms in the buried trunk. The revolutionary organization of Veer Vamanrao dada was spread over the region of Amravati, Akot and Warud. Meanwhile, because of search operations and raids by English Police, the strength of the revolutionary activities in Bangal and Madras region went on decreasing. Secret agents of police were following Veer Vamanrao and his associates also. Seeing the threat of major loss of human lives he stopped his activities and took his followers in a different direction. To give a constructive avenue to youths he started “Hanuman Club” with the help of Vaidya brothers and turned youths towards this club, who might have otherwise succumbed to the tortures by Britisher’s.
Vidharbh Veer Vamanrao
Veer Vamanrao character was multicolour and he started showing the strength of his multifaceted character since he was a student. He was as great nationalist, dramatist as he was a great revolutionary. He delivered a fairy speech on “Draupti Vastraharan” in 1904 in the Ganesh Festival of Amravati Brahma Vidya Mandir. Immediately after this he participated in the agitations started by Lokmanya Tilak. His oratory had strength a filling vigour in youths and in springs them for the bigger sacrifices in life.
Speeches by Dada were always special things to experience Shri Ganesh and shiv jayanti festivals. All speeches were based on patriotism in this festival in 1916. But no speech by any other orator could reach upto the heights of that of Vamanrao Dada. Once he spoke on the topic “Language of stones (Dagadanchi Bhasha)” which was based on the war fought by Tanaji on sinhgarh and other inceidents. That speech enchanted every youth person like me present there that day.
After the death of Lokmanya Tilak, Vamanrao jumped into the non-co-operation movement started by Mahatma Gandhi with same zeal. He was sent behind the bars many times from 1920 to 1942. In 1920 he was arrested for organizing condemnation meeting at walgaon near Amravati, even after ban on arranging such meetings. Noted poet Anantrao Tekade spontaneously wrote four lines of poem and gave him title of ‘Vidarbh Veer’. From this moment, the title veer remained attached to him for rest of his life.
H.V.P.Mandal, the beloved child of Vamanrao
Many senior members of HVPM at that time mentions that Veer Vamanrao taught them how to remain selfless, fearless and having without any stigma on character. He inspires and guides many youth for participating in freedom struggle by different ways. In the memories of Veer Vamanrao shared with Vaidya, S. P. Hirlekar, Ambadaspant Vaidya says “Dada used to participate openly in the agitation started by Mahatma Gandhi and he ordered us to participate in the same. Accordingly, along with me, Tryambak Guruji Joshi, Hariharrao Deshpande and 250 other students enrolled themselves in National School. I was a teacher there.”
Affection of Vamanrao for H.V.P.Mandal came to know with his decision to depart himself from Mandal. According to him, relations of a person who was directly involved in the freedom struggle with the Mandal who is working for National cause indirectly, should not get visible. Then on his instructions we selected another leader for Mandal, Dr. Shivajirao Patwardhan. Veer Vamanrao did this because he wanted to save H.V.P. Mandal from English Police. It was his love for Mandal. After some years Dr. Patwardhan also kept away from Mandal because of this reason.
Youths from different region of the country used to come in summer camp in Mandal. Veer Vamanrao used to deliver zealous speeches in front of them. H.V.P.Mandal’s, teams used to tour since 1927 for propagating Indian sports. The idea and inspiration behind this tour was also of Vamanrao. He was with the team touring to Pune, the first ever tour, in 1927. Vamanrao insisted Mandal to help National Congress in organization efforts in such programmes.
A strict discipline:
As sphere of Mandal’s activities went on increasing, construction of new buildings became necessary. Dr. Shivajirao Patwardhan collected large fund from donations, and inspiration behind this was of Vamanrao. He never liked to give names of donors to buildings and Sports complex. “Names given to our buildings, is strictly of patriots, revolutionaries and concerned persons of Mandal. It is because of the strict discipline set by Dada”, says Ambadas Pant. Mandal has continued this tradition even after its present large setup.
Words written by Vamanrao were as fiery and instigation as his oratory. On the other hand it was soft and flowery also. His plays like “Rakshasi Mahatvakanksha”, “Randudumbhi”, “Dharma Sinhasan”, “Sheelsansyas”, were moral boosters for the independence movement and became popular in entire state. He was really gifted play writer but because of his involvement in freedom struggle he did not get ample time to give justice to his art. His first play “Rakshasi Mahatvakanksha” came on stage in 1914 and “Randudumbhi” came after the long period of 13 years. While publishing it he politely wrote :
“After my first play ‘Rakshasi Mahatvakanksha’, this second play is coming after 13 years. Any other gifted play writer blessed by the Goddess of Dream might have served Marathi stage much more, unfortunately, I am not that lucky. Still instead of mourning about that I dedicate this drama politely to people in Maharashtra.”
Guru of Mandal :
The fire of love for freedom was always there in the heart of Vamanrao. No other subjects other than could capture his mind and even dreams. This is why entertainment was never a subject of his drama. Songs like “Parvashata pash daive…” and “Jagi ha khas vedyancha pasara majla sara”, exhibits his anger for slavery and dependence. Marathi people hum these songs. Even today after so many years love for freedom sacrifice and devotion can be seen from all his work. H.V.P.M. is still proud upon getting such a great person as a prime inspiration and as a guide, a Guru!