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

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Paying tribute to India’s freedom fighters

Shantabai Bhargav Phatak

Ratnagiri, Maharashtra

May 22, 2023 to May 22, 2024

Shantabai Bhargav Phatak, a resident of Gimhavane village in Dapoli Tehsil of Ratnagiri district, actively participated in India's independence movement against British colonial rule. Though little is known about her personal life, she was married to Bhargav Mahadev Phatak, a congress member, and freedom fighter from Dapoli.

On 12 January 1941, Shantabai announced her intention to engage in Satyagraha, a non-violent resistance against British imperialism, in Kankavli, part of the Sindhudurg district. On 14 January, she carried out her Satyagraha two days later by raising anti-war slogans in Kal, Kankavali. Her non-violent protest constituted a violation of the Defense of India Rules, and she was arrested on 18 January and sentenced to fifteen days of simple imprisonment in Khed, Ratnagiri. However, Shantabai's involvement in the independence movement did not end with this incident. On 23 November 1942, she attempted to paste a pro-national bulletin that was declared objectionable by the British government on the office of the police sub-inspector in Dapoli. This action led to her prosecution under rules 38(5) and 38(1)(c) of the Defense of India Rules, and on 30 November 1942, she was sentenced to six months of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rupees twenty-five.

Shantabai participated in Satyagraha during India's independence movement, leading to her arrest, imprisonment, and the imposition of fines as a result of her actions.