Ganesh Vasudeo Joshi Social Reformer

Ganesh Vasudeo Joshi alias Sarvajanik Kaka, was a lawyer, social reformer, and political activist. He was born in Satara on 9th April 1828. He started to work as a clerk and also tried to start his legal practice. He worked as a guide for Sardars and Jahagirdars.

Sarvajanik Kaka also built a Vishnu Temple. Parvati Sansathan committee started some illegal activities in a temple. So he decided to pay attention to it. He called a meeting, and in the second meeting, he chose to establish a Sarvajanik Sabha. Thus the Pune Sarvajanik Sabha founded on 2nd April 1870.

The Sabha adopted a novel procedure and beginning to make the Sabha an elected body to ensure an accurate representation of the people. To be a member of the Sabha a person was required to produce a ‘Mukhtyarnama’ (Power of Attorney) signed by the minimum 50 adults authorising him to speak and act on their behalf in all public matters. The first President of the Sabha was the Shrimant Shrinivasarao Pant Partinishi, Chief of Aundh. It was the first political organisation in India. This organisation gave the first impetus to public activities in the Deccan.

To social unity, Kaka and his friends Gowande’s wife took the programme of Sarvajanik Haldi Kunku at New Vishnu Mandir in 1873. This programme held by Shree Vicharavati Sabha which was established by him. Haldi Kunku gave to all women from any caste.

In 1874, due to flood in Nashik, it damaged the crops. Ganesh Vasudeo Joshi and Ramchandra Udas worked for it. Sabha gave Rs. 3,000/- for rehabilitation.

In 1876, due to famine in Deccan and West Maharashtra, Sabha started to offer Rs. 17,000/- for affected people. Sabha requested to Government to appoint a committee to solve this problem permanently.

The Viceroy of India Lord Littan passed the bill about freedom of printing and Kaka opposed that bill. After opposition, Lord Ripan cancelled that bill in 1881.  

Sarvajanik Kaka put the concept of the Swadeshi Movement to Maharashtra when Bengali people were not aware of the effect of the Swadeshi Movement. He started the work of khadi in Sabarmati Ashram. He also used Bharat costume tradition at his own house.

Source – Shodhaganga, Image from peoplepill.com  

MPSC- Mains Topic – GS I paper.

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