Martyrdom of Chapekar Brothers
In the history of revolutionaries of India, the martyrdom of Chapekar Brothers is a golden page. The fatal disease plague had played havoc in Pune in 1898. The Collector of Pune had made the life of the citizens simply unbearable by entering the homes of people. He had terribly insulted the people. To take revenge of this social and national insult, a young man, Damodar Hari Chapekar had shot him dead. Subsequently, Damodar Hari Chapekar was arrested and his two brothers also Vasudeo Hari Chapekar and Balkrishna Hari Chapekar were also arrested under the charge of murdering Randh. And all these three young brothers from the same house went to the rope of hangman with smile on their face. This great sacrifice of life done out of pure selfless sentiment for the country did not go in vain. Even Swatantryveer Savarkar was inspired by Chapekar brothers. With all the three brothers having been hanged, the family of Chapekar was shattered. But the pains of one family created!
A wave of lively movement in the country. Their bodies were hanged on the ropes, but in the form of inspiration they became immortal.
The large house (called Wada) of these Chapekars is in Chinchwad (Near Pune). Till 1971-72, this structure had dilapidated and was going to destruction. A joint for drinkers had come up there. Some Sangh Swayamsevaks could not witness this state of the Wada. These young people thought, “The place of people who accepted the loop of the hangman so that we should be free and breathe free air should be in such a terrible state and we must do something”. With this determination they started to work. On 11th April 2005, this Wada (House) assumed the same glory and form through the incessant and hard toil of these young people. Old houses are brought down and new ones erected. It is not an uncommon thing. But such things do not make history. But when the structure which is a place of faith and self-pride is erected again, it is indicative of assurance that the faith and self-pride is not dead, it is alive and that structure becomes a symbol of both. This is like a guarantee that not only three, but entire families will be ready to sacrifice their lives. But now there is no foreign yoke. It is the need hour to work constructively for the country. While the structure was being erected, social service work was also started.
First, a Gymnasium was erected for the young people. Then a primary school with the name of ‘Krantiveer Chapekar’ was started. In 2005, this school has become a banyan tree. This school has spread in other places in the town.
For the Restoration of Chapekar Memorial, Sarsanghchalak Shri Sudarshan ji was present. The imagination with which this programme was arranged deserves appreciation. For the Vastupoojan of the memorial, the descendants of Krantiveer Chapekar brothers, Martyr Babu Genu, Krantisinha Nana Patil, the first Krantiveer Umaji Naik, Vasudeo Balwant Phadke, Martyrs Rajguru, Narayan Dabhade, Anant Kanhere, Vishnu Ganesh Pingale were present. The daughter of Krantisinha Nana Patil of 1942 movement Housabai Bhagwanrao More-Patil also was present. All the religious places in Chinchwad were visited and the deities there were worshipped. A deliberate effort was made to impress on all that this project was of all people and all sects, religions. In the public function, some people’s Art performances were presented. Tuljapur’s team present Gondhal and a powada of Krantiveers was presented by Yogesh and colleagues. The children from various schools presented themselves in the dress of the brave men and women who had taken the oath of working for the country. They came to the stage in the same order as that of Bharatmata Stotra which was being sung simultaneously. All the descendants were honoured on this occasion. The aim was to show that we had not forgotten those honourable brave people.
The youngsters and their efforts are inspiring. The Municipal Corporation also must be mentioned who had donated nearly 33 lakh rupees. This memorial is now recognized by the name ‘Krantiteerth’ (teerth = place of pilgrimage) and it will be known as an ideal memorial. There are rare photographs of revolutionaries and the drawings of their battles. When this memorial with a budget of Rs.4 crores and thirty lakhs, will be complete, it will be a gem in the garland of ideal memorials. We congratulate all youngsters who have taken incessant efforts for this memorial.
A collection by Upendra kumar.