Context: Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister, and Assembly Speaker are in Moscow to unveil the statue of Lok Shahir (balladeer) Annabhau Sathe at the All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature.
- An oil painting of Sathe, who passed away in 1969, will also be unveiled at the Moscow’s Indian consulate.
Who was Annabhau Sathe?
- Tukaram Bhaurao Sathe, who later came to be known as Annabhau Sathe, was born in a Dalit family on August 1, 1920 in Maharashtra’s Wategaon village in Satara district.
- In 1934, Mumbai witnessed a workers’ strike under the leadership of Lal Bawta Mill Workers Union in which he participated.
- During his days at the Matunga Labour Camp, he got to know R B More, an associate of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar in the famous ‘Chavdar Lake’ satyagraha at Mahad, and joined the labour study circle.
- Being a Dalit, he was denied schooling in his village. It was during these study circles that he learned to read and write.
How did he start writing songs, ballads, and books?
- Sathe wrote his first poem on the menace of mosquitoes in the labour camp.
- He formed Dalit Yuvak Sangh, a cultural group and started writing poems on workers’ protests, agitations.
- He was part of Progressive Writers Association in which poets like Premchand, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Manto, Ismat Chugtai, Rahul Sankrutyayan, Mulkraj Anand worked as its members.
- In 1939, he wrote his first ballad ‘Spanish Povada’.
How popular was his work?
- Several of his works like ‘Aklechi Goshta,’ ‘Stalingradacha Povada,’ ‘Mazi Maina Gavavar Rahili,’ ‘Jag Badal Ghaluni Ghav’ were popular across the state.
- His ‘Bangalchi Hak’ (Bengal’s Call) on the Bengal famine was translated into Bengali and later presented at London’s Royal Theatre.
- In 1943, he along with Amar Sheikh and Datta Gavhankar, formed the Lal Bawta Kala Pathak. The group toured across Maharashtra presenting programmes on caste atrocities, class conflict, and workers’ rights.
- In 1943, he was part of the process that led to the formation of the Indian Peoples Theatre Association (IPTA). He became its national president in 1949.
What was his Russian connection?
- He was a member of the Communist Party of India (CPI), and featured among the selected authors from India whose work was translated in Russian.
- Sathe’s literature is closely related to the then Communist Russian literature which was a mixture of reality and art.
- Six of his novels were turned into films and many translated into other languages, including Russian (Chitra or his famous Stalingradcha Povada on the battle of Stalingrad battle)
- In his travelogue ‘Maza Russiacha Pravas’ (My Travel to Russia), he writes that workers had come to see him off and how they wanted him to go and see slums of Russia and describe them after his return home.
Source: Indian Express
Previous Year Question
Q.1) Who among the following is associated with ‘Songs from Prison’, a translation of ancient Indian religious lyrics in English? (2021)
- Bal Gangadhar Tilak
- Jawaharlal Nehru
- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
- Sarojini Naidu
Q.2) Who among the following was associated as Secretary with Hindu Female School which later came to be known as Bethune Female School?
- Annie Besant
- Debandranath Tagore
- Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
- Sarojini Naidu