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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Pune village remembers its own freedom ‘martyr’

A Gadar party member, Pingle was hanged in Lahore in 1915; 100th year of martyrdom to be marked in Talegaon Dhamdhere.

Written by Chandan Haygunde | Pune | Updated: November 15, 2015 5:41:14 am

Revolutionary freedom fighter Vishnu Ganesh Pingle, who laid down his life during the freedom struggle at the age of 26 years, will be remembered at his native village of Talegaon Dhamdhere in Shirur taluka of Pune district on his 100th martyrdom day.

A member of ‘Gadar party’, Pingle was hanged in Lahore Central Jail by British on November 16, 1915. Now, a hundred years after, history lovers and youths from different organisations, social groups and Ganesh mandals from Pune have formed the ‘Krantiratna Vishnu Ganesh Pingle Balidan Shatabdi Samaroh Samiti’, to organise a special program in Talegaon Dhamdhere, to mark the centenary year of his martyrdom, on Sunday, November 15.

History teacher Mohan Shete of Itihas Premi Mandal in Pune, who leads the initiative, said that Pingle was born in a farmer family in Talegaon Dhamdhere on January 2, 1889 and faced hardships in completing his schooling.

He then moved to Washington and got a degree in electronic engineering.

But Pingle was a patriot and joined the freedom movement after coming in contact with revolutionaries like Lala Hardayal, Bhai Parmanand, Dr Khangoje, Sohansingh Bhakna, Bhai Kartarsingh and Pandit Kanshiram during his stay in America. He became an active member of the Gadar party, which believed in armed struggle against the British.

Pingle used his engineering skills in making bombs for the party. After coming to India, he started revolutionary activities in Punjab. He maintained secret contacts with revolutionaries like Rashbihari Bose and Sachindranath Sanyal. Gadar party had planned an armed uprising against the British while the World War I was on.

An expert in different languages and a master of disguise, Pingle spread unrest among the Indian Army against the British by secretly circulating revolutionary pamphlets and newspaper published by Gadar party.

The British arrested him from Meerut Cantonment on March 24, 1917 with the possession of 18 live bombs and explosive material. He was hanged to death along with six more revolutionaries in Lahore Central Jail on November 16, 1915.

“On Sunday, we have organised a two-wheeler rally from Shaniwarwada to Talegaon Dhamdhere. Youths from Pune city, Pimpri Chinchwad and different parts of the district would be taking part in it. We will be visiting Pingle’s house for paying homage. There will be speech by historian Pandurang Balkawde and others. Youths will sing patriotic songs and villagers of Talegaon Dhamdhere would participate wholeheartedly in the programme,” Shete said.

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