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Pandurang Mahadeo Bapat was popularly known as Senapati Bapat. Senapati means commander. He was educated at Deccan College and then went to Britain to study engineering. During his stay,he learnt bomb-making skill instead of pursuing studies. He came back to India and trained others in skill of bomb-making.

He travelled the country and observed that majority of the population did not realize that country was ruled by Britain. This made him to shift his focus from fighting with the British Government to educating people. In 1912, he was arrested for connection with the bombings and was imprisoned. In 1915, he was free.

He was an influential figure from Pune and was aligned with Lokmanya Tilak’s movement to establish local organizations to support Indian independence. After the death of Lokmanya Tilak in 1920, he aligned himself with Mahatma Gandhi’s vision. Even though he took the oath of non-violence, he was supporter of violence,whenever he thought it was necessary. From 1921, he led the farmer’s Satyagraha against construction of the Mulshi Dam by Tata Company. The dam was constructed and the Satyagraha was failed but compensation for land submerged by the dam’s construction was given to the landlords and not to the tenants. Bapat was jailed for vandalism of the construction project. He was imprisoned for third time for speaking in public gathering held by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

On 15th August 1947, Bapat was given the honour of hoisting the Indian Flag in Pune for the first time. In Pune and Mumbai roads are named after him in his honour.

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