“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers…

An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.

“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers……….
An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.

The Knowledge Library

Anna Bhau Sathe

Who was Anna Bhau Sathe?

  • Anna Bhau Sathe, born Tukaram Bhaurao Sathe on August 1, 1920, in Maharashtra’s Wategaon village, emerged as a prominent figure in the field of literature, poetry, and social activism.
  • His journey from humble beginnings in a Dalit family to becoming a prolific writer and folk poet is a testament to his indomitable spirit and commitment to social reform.

Early Life and Struggles

  • Mumbai Sojourn: In 1930, Sathe’s family moved to Mumbai, where he worked as a porter, hawker, and cotton mill helper, enduring the hardships of working-class life.
  • Labour Activism: His participation in the 1934 workers’ strike, led by the Lal Bawta Mill Workers Union, marked the beginning of his engagement in labor and social issues.
  • Learning to Read and Write: Denied schooling due to his Dalit identity, Sathe joined labor study circles where he learned to read and write.

Evolution as a Writer

  • Early Poetry: His first poem, focusing on the menace of mosquitoes in the labour camp, laid the foundation for his future creative endeavours.
  • Cultural Group: Sathe formed the Dalit Yuvak Sangh, a cultural group that composed poems reflecting workers’ protests and agitations.
  • Influence of Progressive Writers: The Progressive Writers Association’s national formation, with writers like Premchand and Faiz Ahmad Faiz, exposed him to translated Russian works, inspiring him to write plays, stories, and novels.

Wide-ranging Impact of His Work

  • Spreading Awareness: Together with his group, Sathe travelled across Mumbai, raising awareness about workers’ rights and social issues.
  • Prolific Output: Over 49 years, he authored 32 novels, 13 collections of short stories, four plays, a travelogue, and 11 ballads (povadas).
  • Cinematic and International Recognition: Several of his works were adapted into films, and some were translated into other languages, including Russian. His “Bangalchi Hak” was presented at London’s Royal Theatre.
  • Depiction of Social Realities: Sathe’s literature delved into the caste and class realities of Indian society during his time.

Left-leaning Ideology and Russian Connection

  • Influence of Marxism: While influenced by Marxism, he also depicted the harsh realities of the caste system in his work.
  • The Lal Bawta Kala Pathak: In 1943, Sathe founded this group, which toured Maharashtra, performing programs on caste atrocities, class conflict, and workers’ rights.
  • Dedication to Dr. Ambedkar: His most famous novel, “Fakira,” was dedicated to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, reflecting his commitment to the Dalit cause.

Russian Inspiration

  • Maxim Gorky’s Influence: Often referred to as the “Maxim Gorky of Maharashtra,” Sathe drew inspiration from Gorky’s work “The Mother” and the Russian Revolution, evident in his writings.
  • Visit to Russia: In 1961, Sathe travelled to Russia with a group of other Indians, fostering his connection with Russian culture.

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