Anantrao Bhalerao

(1919 -1991)

अनंतराव काशीनाथ भालेराव

Anant Bhalerao is widely known as a freedom-fighter, vigilant editor, fearless and courageous journalist, biographer and travelogue writer. He played a major role in making the newspaper ‘Marathwada’ famous.
Anantrao was born on 14th November 1919 at Khandala in Vaijapur Taluka in Aurangabad district. His father was a Varkari (a devotee who visits his deity every year) and therefore he was brought up in Varkari tradition and had deep impression on his mind of literature written by saints. Anantrao got his primary education at Vaijapur-Gangapur whereas he got his secondary education in an Urdu medium school. Later, after he passed his matriculation from Osmania, he joined the first year of inter examination in Government College. During the same period, he met Govindbhai Shroff in Aurangabad and it was his inspiration which helped hi enter into the freedom struggle of India. In 1938, he staged a Satyagraha against the Nizam Government because he was prevented from singing Vande Mataram in his hostel. He was awarded three years’ rigourous imprisonment. He was rusticated from his college for taking part in the movement. Later, he took some collegues along with him and started a national school by name Nutan Vidyalaya in Selu. Around the same time, 'Quit India’ movement was launched. Anantrao stayed in Selu and ran an efficient freedom movement centre. He also assisted in the State Congress work. He actively participated in Hyderabad Liberation Struggle in the last phase which had commenced in 1946. His contribution in this struggle is very important. To promote the cause of this struggle and also to spread it in masses, A.K.Waghmare had started the ‘Marathwada weekly’. From 1948 onwards, Anantrao started looking after its publication as a sub-editor. In 1953, it became a bi-weekly and Anantrao was given the responsibility to look after its editorship. There was a sea change in the profile of this bi-weekly. His scathing and sharp writing, candid thinking and straight forward stance helped in making ‘Marathwada’ a formidable newspaper. There were thousands of followers of his writing and in turn fans of the bi-weekly. Samyukta Maharashtra movement was at its peak during that period. Anantrao participated in this movement also with full enthusiasm. Anantrao’s effective editorship of ‘Marathwada’ played an important role in gaining a favourable opinion of for linguistic division of Hyderabad and creation of combined Maharashtra.
From 15th August 1968, Anantrao converted ‘Marathwada’ from being a bi-weekly to a daily. He provided a voice to various problems of Marathwada region. He put across particularly, the problems of people in Marathwada, their problems of economic development and the problems of Government servants there after the restructuring of the state with lot of passion. Not only did he put across the problems of socio-economically backward and downtrodden agriculture working class, small farmers etc., he also gave a voice to the injustice they were subjected to from time to time. He took a firm stance against the emergency imposed in India in 1975. He had to face imprisonment for his role in opposing the anti-emergency demonstrations by organizing Satyagraha.
Anantrao’s career spans a long period of 40~45 years. He was extremely idealist as a journalist. He handled many subjects in newspaper- journalism. He was scathing in his writings against injustice. He was renowned as a person who was firm on his views, committed to his work and never deterred from his decision. He would think with emotional involvement and at the same time took care that he would not lose the sight of the issue. The birth of ‘Marathwada’ had its origins in struggle and idealistic thought process. He was of the opinion that the responsibility of explaining any viewpoint rested with the editor through his editorials. However, the editor must take into account the reader’s likes and dislikes comprehension and understanding .But he must not get carried away by the reader and he must present his view-point with conviction and firmness. Editorials written by Tilak in ‘Kesari’, Atre in ‘Maratha’ and later by Anantrao in 'Marathwada’ are considered to be landmarks. This fact is sufficient proof of his capabilities. Anantrao’s journalism seems to have influenced May of his contemporary journalists in Maharashtra. He moulded many journalists in daily ‘Marathwada’.
Anantrao wrote more than nine thousand editorials and more than two thousand other articles. This is a mammoth contribution. Apart from this, the number of various obituaries he wrote from time to time exceeds three hundred and fifty. His books, ‘ Alo yaachi karanashee- This was the mission of my foray- a collection of editorials’, ‘Petalele diwas- fierce days( memoirs of Hyderabad liberation movement’, ‘Palas gela kokanat- a travelogue, Kavad-column writing’, ‘Hyderabad Swatantrya Sangram aaNi Marathwada -Hyderabad freedom struggle and Marathwada( history of the movement), ‘Swami Ramananda Teertha(biography), ‘Maandiyali’,’Samey Bhalerao’ are famous.
Anantrao always supported the cause of education, societal upliftment and literary and creative work. He also made substantial contribution to the cause of Marathwada Sahitya Parishad (Marathwada Literary Conference).
He was honoured for his exemplary work in the field of journalism by awarding him Fie Foundation Award and Goenka Foundation award.
In the post-independence there was generation of journalist editors who did not consider idealist and fearless journalism as a profession for earning money but a vehicle for enlightenment and social revolution. Anant Bhalerao will always be considered as the torch bearer of this generation. Such a societal welfare oriented, sensitive journalist-editor passed away on 26th October 1991.

Anantrao Bhalerao
(14th November 1919 to 26th October 1991)

Writeen by- Seema Bhanu
Translated by: Prof. V A Upadhye

साहित्यिक दस्तावेज

मराठीतल्या निवडक ज्येष्ठ आणि श्रेष्ठ साहित्यिकांविषयीची माहिती दस्तऐवज स्वरूपात नोंदवून ठेवण्याचा उपक्रम आम्ही यंदा सलग तिसऱ्या वर्षीही राबवत आहोत. हा उपक्रम यापुढेही सुरू राहणार आहे.

लिहिण्याची भाषा

देवनागरी / मराठी
Roman / English
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