Moreshwar Vasudeo Abhyankar - 29 August 1886

Moreshwar Vasudeo Abhyankar - 29 August 1886

Moreshwar was born in the Dhanodi village of Wardha District on 29 August 1886. His father Vasudeorao alias Dadasaheb was a rich Malguzar, His mother too came of a rich family. Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Moreshwarpant lived luxuriously throughout his life. He had two sisters and two brothers.

Young Moreshwar did his primary education at Dhanodi and joined Middle School at Bhandara. In 1898 he went to Nagpur for higher education. He passed the Matriculation examination in 1901 after one failure, and joined the Morris College. Having failed in the First Year, he sailed for England in 1906 to become a Barrister. In 1909 he returned to India as a Barrister.

In 1905 he was married to Ramabai, daughter of a leading pleader of Wardha. Moreshwarpant was blessed with three daughters and two sons, of whom Sarojini, Kamalabai and Vasudeorao are alive.

When in England, he came in contact with Dadasaheb Khaparde, Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpatrai. After returning to Nagpur, he started his legal practice. His keen interest in politics brought him in contact with Dadasaheb Udhoji and Dr. Moonje. But it was Lokamanya Tilak whom he regarded as his guru. He toured with Tilak the whole of Berar and Madhya Pradesh advocating his Home Rule Movement.

In the Amritsar Congress he opposed Gandhiji’s resolution regarding acceptance of the Reforms of 1919. He did not favour the boycotting of educational institutions and Courts. He frankly thought that spiritualism should not be mixed up with politics. After the Gaya Congress of 1922 he joined the Swarajists. He led the protest march against the Simon Commission. He plunged into the Civil Disobedience Movement of 1930-32 and courted arrest.

Abhyankar joined the Hindu Mahasabha in 1922 taking it as a social organisation but left it in 1927 when it got a political colouring.

Abhyankar hated the British Imperialists but admire their democracy. Influenced by Western thought, he was rational in his approach to social problems. He did not believe in the caste- system and out-dated rituals. He advocated equality of status for women. He was President of the Harijan Seva Mandal. He also held high positions in the Congress party.

By his impressive personality, tall stature, heroic spirit and patriotism he was truly a lion among men, “Nara Kesari”.

(S. A. Deshpande) B. K. Apte



Reference: DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY – Vol 1 edited by S. P. Sen – Institute of Historical Studies – Calcutta - 1972

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