The year 1948, Gandhi’s assassination and its consequence on the Marathi Brahmin family household. A personal experience essay by Prabhakar Apte, Pune.

The Limb is one village situated on the bank of the Krishna river. Historically one Barve family, who belonged to the in-law family of first Peshva Balaji Vishvanath. Barve family migrated from Konkan to Limb and built the first ghat on the Krishna river. Thereafter Lakshman Ballal Apte, who was a Sardar of Madhvrao Peshve. He built a very Hugh Lakshmi Narayan mandir on the bank of the Krishna river, and built a big house and also a ghat on the Krishna river. The big house and temple complex was covered by a rampart and four buruj structures on four corners. The third generation of Lakshman Ballal was of four brothers and there was one adopted ranch of Visaji Lakshman, his branch continued to stay in Limb, but our cousin branch represented by Shankar Narahar Apte use to conduct Sangh shakha in limb and he was a close friend of Barve family. The descendant of the Barve family one Narhar Dattatray Barve also continued to stay in Limb. On 30th January 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse, who happened to be a Marathi Brahmin. However Limb village had 100 Brahmin families, and they were happily living peacefully. Narhar Dattatray was a small boy and while playing near a ‘Pimpal Paar’ he overheard that a message has come from Kolhapur that Brahmins houses should be burnt as revenge for Gandhi’s murder. He reported it to his mother who had arranged a get together of women folk for Haldi Kunku. She did not believe in the report of her child because the Limb atmosphere was calm, but within one hour the houses of Limb Brahmins were set on fire and Brahmins had to take shelter within Satara etc. This is the sad story of Limb where our forefather came and settled 250 years back. Now the debris of Apte houses is near Lakshmi Narayan Temple. In gram panchayat record it is noted as Apte Gadhi and the big house of Shankar Narhar Apte was burnt after Gandhi murder in the year 1948. One archaeologist Anita Agashe excavated the debris of the potter’s settlement.

After that, the new story begins of Amanapur in the Sangali district. That village is also settled on the bank of the Krishna river. Our father was a teacher in Kirloskar high school Kirloskar wadi and my elder uncle was staying in Apte Wada which was built by our great grandfather who shifted from Limb to Amanapur about 200 years back. After Gandhi was murdered our Wada was set on fire and our uncle was tied with rope like a bundle, the gundas wanted to through him in the burning house, but nobody dared to do that and he was lying in that condition overnight, next day somebody released him. Now a silver lining to a black cloud. My father had got one portion of the house as his share. When the house was set off fire two persons whispered as this corner belongs to our Guruji, so that portion remained unburned, which was later on used by our uncle. Our Vishnu temple in Limb had landed property in Sagaon on the bank of varna river in Shirala taluka of Sangali district. Anantrao Kulkarni was a landlord in that village and also conducted Sangh shakha some Gundas from Kolhapur dragged him out of his house and was chased by them few miles. and attacked him with axes when he fell by saviour wounds, both the gundas doubted whether he was dead, one of them cut off his thumb but he bore the wound and they thought he was dead. After they left he slowly walked up to the road and caught a bus for Kolhapur. I knew this when jilha karyavaha of Satara district was conducting a meeting. In his lecture he said we have to sacrifice for Sangh work, then Anantrao Kulkarni raised his hand and told the Sagaon story and asked what more sacrifice do you want? The wave of anti-Brahmin hatred continued, after few years Anna Bhoi was murdered in his Kole village near Karad. his fault was he was conducting Sangh shakha. All this was in the name of Mahatma Gandhi whose motto was Ahimsa i.e. non-violence.

Prabhakar Apte
Pune

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