sons of Lokmanya Tilak – regarded as the tallest Brahmin leader in the freedom fight- themselves began celebrating Ganpati festival with the lower caste Hindus in Pune.
During this time, British rulers encouraged some Brahmins to rewrite history in the garb of research studies. It was part of their ‘divide and rule’ strategy. In Maharshtra, it was an attempt to create rift not only on religious lines but also among different Hindu castes. One of the authors, VK Rajwade in his research findings attributed the downfall of the Maratha dynasty to the wrong doings of non brahmin class, blaming particularly the CKP or chandrasen kayastha prabhu community. Prabhodhankar found it just not incorrect, but motivated too. He soon began meticulous compilation of historical records and in depth analysis of the subject. He pointed out factual inaccuracies of the research work carried out by Brahmin authors and gave several instances to show how several unscrupulous Brahmins in cahoots with British conspired against Maratha Kings and humiliated them. His findings left the rivals completely dumbfounded.
PRABHODHANKAR AS ‘KODUND’:
Shahuji Maharaj had high regards for Prabhodhankar and called him ‘Kodund’ meaning “Bow’ for his sharp writing skills. In 1921 Prabhodhankar fell ill due to typhoid. The king’s emissary reached Prabhodhankar’s house with a note asking him to write a book on hindu scriptures. The envelope contained a cheque of Rs. Five thousand rupees, a mind boggling figure in those days. To this gesture, Prabhodhankar reacted angrily by saying that “I consider puran (hindu scripture) a sacred thing. I will only spit on the money that’s offered to me as remuneration”. Rajshri- as the king of Kolhapur was called by his subjects- later issued a certificate for Prabhodhankar which read that “he is the only person who can neither be bought nor bribed”. A few days before his death, Shahuji Maharaj called on Prabhodhankar and asked him to write his biography.
FRIEND, PHILOSPHER AND GUIDE OF KARAMVEER BHAURAO PATIL:
Karamveer Bhaurao Patil is considered as the man who took education to the masses thru his ‘Rayat shikshan sanstha’ (Peasant education trust). His educational trust with a network of schools and colleges across Maharashtra is considered to be the biggest in Asia. For a man whose efforts in promoting education remains unmatched, Bhaurao patil considers Prabhodhankar, his mentor and guide. Bhaurao Patil writes “while rayat shikshan may be my vision but Prabhodhankar remains its consciousness. He provides energy and life to the institute. He is not only my guru (teacher) but a fatherly figure to me”.
The two also started a boarding facility for students from the so called ‘untouchables’ community. Their efforts were applauded by none other than Mahatma Gandhi himself. Despite differences with Mahatma Gandhi, Prabhodhankar held him in high esteem. He in fact refused to write articles for nathuram godse’s newspaper ‘agrani’ when the latter insisted that ‘Mahatma’ be removed as prefix for Gandhi and instead be addressed as just mister Gandhi in his columns.
PRABHODHANKAR- A MULTI FACETED PERSONALITY
Prabhodhankar was a man of many facets. His