Krantisinh Nana Patil
Founder of Prati Sarkar, a great revolutionary, freedom fighter and social reformer
Krantisinh Nana Patil was one of the national leaders in the Independence movement in Maharashtra (especially in the districts of Satara and Sangli), who established a novel and unique experiment of Prati Sarkar, a parallel government during the British reign.
He was born in the year 1900 in Baheborgaon village in Sangli district. He was gifted with a strong physique from a young age and later his impressive personality helped in drawing the masses towards him. After completing his education he served as a Talati for some time but his interest in social work and politics soon made him resign him from the government job. He joined the freedom struggle from the 1930 Civil Disobedience Movement.
He tried to make the rural people realise their servitude and attempted to make the people fearless. He was influenced by the Warkari community. He had the ability to speak the people’s language and inspire them. Krantisinh Nana Patil’s significant contribution to the freedom movement was to get the rural masses people involved in the movement by invoking their self-respect.
He opined that the setting up of a parallel government to the British imperial rule was a must. So during the Quit India movement of 1942 he popularised the slogan Aapula Aapan Karu Karbhar (we will administer ourselves). Rejecting the imperial rule, he installed Prati Sarkar, an independent government in Satara district in the same year. His government propaganda was sung through Povada (ballads) composed by the renowned poet G. D. (GaDi) Madgulkar and sung by Shahir Nikam in his strong voice.
This parallel government established many public utilities like a market system, supply and distribution of food-grains and a judicial system to settle disputes and penalize dacoits and robbers, pawnbrokers and money lenders. Under this government he formed an army named Toofan Sena (Storm Troopers). He successfully harassed the imperial government by attacking their major establishments like the railways and postal department. This parallel government was functional in about 150 towns in Sangli and Satara districts between 1943 and 1946. This experiment was subsequently repeated in many places across the country.
Nana Patil was imprisoned eight-ten times between 1920 and 1942. He went underground between 1942 and 1946 during the freedom movement. To catch him, the British announced a prize on his head, but could not arrest him in spite of their efforts. While he was underground, his house and property was confiscated. His mother died during this period. Risking his life, he hurriedly completed her last rites. He emerged into the open in Karad taluka in 1946 only when the independence of India was a surety.
Nana Patil was influenced by Mahatma Phule’s Satyashodhak ideologies and Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj’s social work. He worked towards social reform through various means like establishing the frugal style of marriage ceremonies (Gandhi Vivah (marriage)), propagation of education, establishing libraries, eradicating superstitions, de-addiction of rural populace, etc. He helped in developing many social workers like Shahi Nikam and NagnathAnna Nayakvadi. Shahir Sable became famous because of the ballad that he wrote on Nana Patil in 1942.
After India’s independence, he participated in the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement. He worked through the Shetkari Kamgar Paksha (Farmers Worker Party) and the Bhartiya (Indian) Communist Party. He was also a representative of the Satara and Beed constituencies in the State Assembly. As a Member of Parliament, he made a mark in the Lok Sabha by giving speeches in the Marathi language.
This eminent personality, who inspired not only Satara, but the entire State of Maharashtra right from the pre-independence years, passed away in 1976.