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

Unsung Heroes Detail

Paying tribute to India’s freedom fighters

G.B. Phansalkar

Satara, Maharashtra

May 22, 2023 to May 22, 2024

G.B. Phansalkar was a notable individual during the Indian freedom struggle. He utilized his profession as a lawyer and involvement in the theater to convey anti-British sentiments. Serving as a High Court Pleader from Satara, he dedicated himself to public service. Phansalkar was known as an extremist leader who advocated radical methods to awaken the masses and foster unity among them.

One of Phansalkar's significant contributions was in the field of theater. He used this medium to spread anti-British sentiments and raise awareness about the importance of Indian independence. In 1896, his theater group, known as Mandali, produced a highly rebellious play called "Bhavani Talwar." Furthermore, in 1907, Phansalkar established the Swajan Hiteishi Natak Mandali, which employed a unique technique using curtains, or "drop scenes," to convey anti-British sentiments. Phansalkar's involvement in the freedom struggle extended beyond the theater. He played a key role in promoting the Swadeshi movement and supporting small-scale industries. Despite facing repression from the police, he instilled the spirit of Swadeshi in the people and actively participated in the establishment of various factories, including the Brass Company in Satara and the Safety Matches and Match-box Factory in Karad. On July 2, 1933, Phansalkar delivered a speech to approximately two thousand individuals at the reopening of the Bhramachari ashram in Mansur. During his address, he stressed the significance of unity among the people and raising awareness about the necessity of Indian independence.

In summary, G.B. Phansalkar was a committed and passionate freedom fighter who effectively utilized his skills and resources to inspire people and foster unity among them. His contributions in the fields of theater and industry played a noteworthy role in India's struggle for independence.