Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

Unsung Heroes Detail

Unsung Heroes Detail

Dr. Dattatraya Vinayak Patwardhan

Satara, Maharashtra

June 30, 2022

Dr. Dattatraya Vinayak Patwardhan’s roots are from Wai, Satara district (information about his birth and parentage is not known). Other than his pursuits in medicine he had engaged himself in the Kirtan - lyrical veneration. During the course of three Kirtans organised on 13 to 16 and 18 February 1930, he exhorted his audience to boycott foreign goods and encourage the use of Khadi. He insisted on following the advice of Gandhi and abiding by the dictates of Congress. If an occasion arose they should sacrifice their lives for their motherland and not submit to any injustice. While delivering the speech he narrated the example of the Chapekar brothers during the plague of 1897 and how Commissioner Rand was murdered. Dattatraya, thus, wished to inspire his audience to follow in their footsteps. The Uprising of 1857, was not a mutiny as described in history, but an honest struggle for independence. They should rise to the occasion when it served and resort to civil disobedience, which was the only means of obtaining Swaraj. The audience at every Kirtan numbered over 800 mostly Brahmins. The Secretary to Government, Home Department, Bombay wrote a letter to Saiyid Aminuddin, Esquire, District Magistrate, Satara to investigate the speech made by him and report it. He replied that no action be taken for now and that he is closely observing his activities and will take proper action at the correct time. Dr. Dattatraya who died in obscurity has left a distinct legacy of combining spirituality and nationalistic notions.

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