Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

Unsung Heroes Detail

Paying tribute to India’s freedom fighters

Dr. Balkrishna Chintaman Lagu

Pune, Maharashtra

May 22, 2023 to May 22, 2024

Dr. Balkrishna Chintaman Lagu served as a Congressman from Pune, formerly Poona. Despite the dearth of personal information concerning his background, some knowledge concerning his political career has been garnered through British correspondence. The 1930s, marked by significant political, social, and cultural changes, witnessed the intensification of the freedom struggle movement throughout India, led by the Indian National Congress under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, through nonviolent protests and civil disobedience. During this time, Dr Lagu's active participation in the freedom movement propelled him to a significant position within the Congress party. His instrumental role in continuing the freedom movement in Pune rendered him a prominent political figure in the region.

Dr. Lagu was the central figure responsible for the functioning of the Maharashtra Provincial Congress Committee. His active leadership in the Salt Satyagraha in May 1930 and the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1933 opened up various opportunities for him, including imprisonment. Upon discovering two books containing rules and the constitution of the Maharashtra Provincial Congress Committee during a search of his house, he was prosecuted under section 3 of the Ordinance II of 1932 and detained in the Yerwada central prison. He was released on 17 August 1933 under section 4 of the Bombay Special (Emergency) Powers Act of 1932, which restricted his mobility and participation in the furtherance of the Civil Disobedience Movement, although this restriction was lifted within a month, on 16 September 1933. After his release, Dr Lagu rose to a significant position and became an All India Congress Committee member. In the subsequent years, he participated actively in the meetings and conferences of the A. I. C. C. and the subject committee attended the 48th Session of the Indian National Congress held in Bombay on 26 October 1934. He was re-elected as a member of the A. I. C. C., on behalf of the M. P. C. C. on 6 December 1936, was elected as the treasurer of the M.P.C.C. in 1938 and made a member of the Poona District Controlling Board in 1939, playing a vital role in the freedom struggle.

The early 1940s saw the commencement of the Quit India Movement, launched by Gandhiji and the INC to end British Rule in India and establish an independent Indian nation. However, the British colonial authorities responded to the nonviolent boycotts, protests, and resistance with repression, arrests, and rigorous detention. One of the victims of rigorous detention was Dr Lagu, who was convicted under section 17-E of the Criminal Law Amendment Act XIV of 1908 due to his connection with the August Movement and was detained in Yerwada Prison on October 16, 1942.

Unfortunately, no further information concerning Dr. Balkrishna Chintaman Lagu's fate after his detention is known.