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Documenting the life of late Govind Hari Bhave

Documenting the life of late Govind Hari Bhave

Vishwanath Bhave has written and released his first Marathi book ‘Dhyasparv’ that reveals the journey of a freedom fighter from Valpoi late Govind Hari Bhave and about the Satyagraha movement that he led at Valpoi. NT BUZZ speaks to the writer to find out about the book

SACHI NAIK | NT BUZZ

Prior to Goa’s liberation in 1961, many Goans came out and contributed to the freedom struggle of Goa. But in 1954-55, some of the major Satyagraha movements took place in various parts of Goa, one of which is once again revived by Vishwanath Bhave through his first Marathi book ‘Dhyasparv’ that he dedicates to his paternal grandfather’s brother and freedom fighter, late Govind Hari Bhave.

The book that was released on July 22, 2017 by Vishwanath who tells about history and details about the Satyagraha movement in his native village Dhave, Valpoi. According to the information, four Satyagraha movements took place in Goa including, Panaji (1954), Dhave village in Valpoi (1955), Margao (1955), and Mapusa (1955).

Vishwanath says: “The reason behind this book is that my paternal grandfather’s brother late Govind Hari Bhave has contributed largely to the freedom struggle of Goa. Except Valpoi, all the other satyagrahas were held in cities. Since this village falls in the interiors of Goa, its history is rarely known. A reason behind releasing this book is to spread valid information about Satyagraha at Valpoi especially among youth who are seldom aware of it.”

Vishwanath reveals that it wasn’t easy to collect data for compiling this book and that every local of Valpoi knows about the satyagraha that took place in 1955, however the story remains untold to many parts of the state. “Four satyagraha movements took place in Goa in between 1954 -1955. Valpoi was the only village where people revolted in large numbers but this movement is not talked about so often, hence gathering information for this book was a task,” says Vishwanath.

Vishwanath reveals that his grandfather Govind Hari Bhave led the Satyagraha at Dhave village in Valpoi in 1955. The time when India got its independence, but Goa was still under the Portuguese rule, Government of India tried its best to liberate Goa from the Portuguese with a plan to put the colonial government in a financial crisis.

He adds: “Government of India decreased prices of all the goods in Goa with an intention to incur financial loss to Portuguese government. But it affected the Goan farmers as they did not receive enough returns of what they produced. Hence, Satyagraha movements were led by various freedom fighters across Goa. Around 25 locals participated in the Satyagraha movement that took place in Valpoi on the morning of January 26, 1955 under the leadership of my grandfather,” says Vishwanath stating that all these protesters were imprisoned at Aguada jail.

As a leader, Govind had to bear the most during imprisonment. Besides physically torturing the prisoners they were broken down mentally too. Govind being a priest was given fish and meat to eat which was against his traditions. Later, all the locals were released in 1959, and in the following two years Goa was liberated.

Vishwanath says that his grandfather became weak after he was released from the prison. He says: “My grandfather was an active man. He did yoga and acquired knowledge about vedas at Sangli. But after those four and half years of imprisonment, he became weak and old as he had to undergo physical torture.”

Govind also encouraged young children to get educated and preached about why children need education. “Even in those times, he knew the importance of education. He encouraged children of the village to go to school and get educated. He would also teach them Sanskrit. He was always engaged in his social life more than his personal life,” says Vishwanath.

The writer gathered most of the information from his mother Bhagirathi Shripad Bhave, and the people from Valpoi could help him acquire some details about this movement and his grandfather. ‘Dhyasparv’ is on the whole a compilation of Marathi articles by the locals of Valpoi who knew Vishwanath’s grandfather and this book also includes information about struggle for liberation of Goa.

For Vishwanath, belonging to the family of freedom fighter is a pride. He says: “I am proud that I belong to a family where someone has contributed to Goa’s freedom struggle. I can imagine what my grandfather would have faced then, but it is because of his strength and every freedom fighter’s strength that we enjoy freedom today.”

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