VISION OF PRABHODHANKAR : Page 4 of 6

was just about 16-17 at the time of tragedy. According to Prabhodhankar, his mother continued to encourage him towards learning and inculcated values of honesty and hard work.

In his childhood, Keshav saw how Brahmins offered water in a separate vessel to members of other caste and community. The discriminatory approach left a deep impact on his psyche. Keshav recounts a personal experience during his childhood. His father was invited to lunch by his Brahmin friend. There he saw how people of other communities were segregated by the Brahmins while serving food. Keshav was hardly 8 years old when this happened but the rebel in him questioned the prevailing practice.

Prabhodhankar’s formal education was cut short after his father lost his job. According to Prabhodhankar, inability to pay a fee of one and half rupee for his matriculation deprived him of studies. With it his dream of becoming a lawyer too remained unfilled. The family had to shift locations several times; going to places like baramati to central provinces to earn a living. However the adversity didn’t bog him down and young Prabhodhankar took to making signboards, rubber stamps, painting jobs and repairing machines. He also took up jobs like selling gramophone and insurance policies as well. It was during this time he began with freelance writing works. Thus was born a journalist in him. Later, income from writing, journalism and publishing became major sources of his income. A semblance of stability came in Prabhodhankar’s life after he got a job in public works department. He worked in the department for 10 long years and rose to the rank of head clerk.   His life was otherwise full of struggle.

In 1910, he married Rama Gupte at Alibaug whom he had met during a stint with Drama Company. The couple had 4 sons and 6 daughters.  The two also brought up Ram bhau and Vimlatai, brother and sister of Keshav Thackeray at the same time.

PRABHODHANKAR AND ANTI BRAHMIN MOVEMENT :

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, a social uprising began against upper caste Brahmins of Maharashtra. The movement began with Mahatma Phule who opposed the oppression of the lower caste Hindus by Brahmins thru his organization called the satyashodhak samaj. Upon the death of Phule, his movement lost steam. Chatrapati Shahuji Maharaj of Kolhapur, descendant of great Chatrapapti Shivaji, began its revival. Shahuji was himself a great social reformer. He is credited with implementing first reservation policy in jobs and education for under deprived classes in his kingdom. As conflict between Brahmins and non- Brahmins began to intensify, the two sides used newspapers to propagate their view point and counter each other. It was during this time that Shahuji needed a person with excellent writing abilities to take on his Brahmin rivals. He soon found one in Prabhodhankar who later became an important member of the whole anti brahminical movement. With his writing, he galvanized people against orthodox Brahmins in western Maharashtra. The affects began to show as Brahmins started embracing dalits of the region in their fold. The