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Nagnath Naikwadi

(1922 – 2012) – (Maharashtra)

Krantiveer Nagnath Anna Naikwadi (Aged 97) popularly known as Nagnath Naikwadi, was an Indian independence activist, social worker, politician, and educationist. He was born in 1922 and was known for his revolutionary activism during the Indian independence struggle.

Naikwadi joined Rajaram College for higher studies where he got involved in the Quit India movement and joined Rashtra Seva Dal, a forum of freedom activists that gave him an opportunity to become an associate of Nana Patil. During the Quit India movement, he was an associate of Nana Patil, and together they established Prati Sarkar, a parallel government in the Satara-Sangli region of Maharashtra, and indulged in armed struggle against the British.

In the early 1940s, Naikwadi and his colleagues resorted to armed conflict against the British colonial authorities. In order to raise funds for the movement, his group robbed a government treasury in Dhule and supported the insurgency against the Nizam of Hyderabad. The British colonial government announced a reward on his head, but Naikwadi managed to stay underground for four years.

In 1943, along with Nana Patil, Kisanrao Ahir, and a few others, he declared a parallel government, Prati Sarkar, which operated in around 150 villages in the western Maharashtra region, including Satara and Sangli.

After Indian independence in 1947, Naikwadi shifted his focus to social work and founded a number of educational institutions. He entered electoral politics in 1957 and successfully contested the Assembly elections, serving as a Member of Legislative Assembly till 1962. Once his tenure as an MLA was over, he returned to his social work. He continued to be involved in electoral politics and was a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, representing Sangli.

In recognition of his contributions to Indian society, the Government of India awarded him the third-highest civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan in 2009. Naikwadi passed away in 2012.