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Rambhau Mandlik

(1881 – 1958) – (Maharashtra)

Rambhau Mandlik (Aged 77) was a freedom fighter and political leader born on 1 July 1881 in Raigad, Pen, Maharashtra, India. His father, Narayan, was a radical nationalist and a journalist. Mandlik attended an early English school in Pen and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Roman History, Sanskrit, and Jurisprudence from Fergusson College, Pune.

He inherited revolutionary ideology from his father and was greatly influenced by Lokmanya Tilak, a contemporary leader of the Indian struggle for independence. Mandlik served as Tilak’s private secretary in the national congress at Surat in 1907. After graduation, Mandlik became the editor of the radical nationalist newspaper “Vihari” upon Tilak’s recommendation.

Mandlik founded and edited a popular weekly in Raigad District called “Kolaba Samachar,” which became a powerful forum for public welfare. He used it to consistently fight against all forms of injustice. The British government banned and confiscated all copies of the two biographies, one on Anne Bezant and another on Kamal Pasha, published by Mandlik. As a result, Mandlik was convicted of sedition for his nationalist and revolutionary writings and jailed for two years and fined RS 1000.

After his release, Mandlik went to Japan to seek armed assistance for the Indian struggle from the Indian ex-pat population but was unsuccessful. By this time, the focus of Indian resistance had shifted from armed resistance to non-violent movements, and Mandlik aligned himself with the Indian National Congress. However, he had significant differences with Gandhi’s leadership style and approach to politics, which he viewed as unrealistic and impractical. This led to his departure from the Congress in 1937, and he became involved in Savarkar’s Hindu Mahasabha. He was President of Maharashtra Hindu Sabha from 1946 to 1954.

From 1937 to 1954, Mandlik served as a legislator in the state assembly, representing the Pen/Kolaba and Pune constituencies. He worked tirelessly on a wide range of public interest issues and was renowned for asking by far the most number of questions to the ministers during the assembly sessions. Mandlik passed away on 30 August 1958.