Vasudev Balwant Phadke

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Phadke, Vasudev Balwant


Born 1845; died 1883 in Aden. Indian patriot.

The son of an impoverished aristocrat, Phadke was a Maratha by nationality, a Hindu by religion, and a Brahman by caste. Believing that English domination could be ended by an armed rebellion, he attempted to draw the peasant masses into the struggle for the freedom of India. Leading peasant detachments, he staged attacks on landowners and moneylenders. With the funds that were taken from them, he tried to recruit professional soldiers, who, according to his plans, were to become the nucleus of a popular militia. In 1879, Phadke was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment by a colonial court. He died in a prison fortress in Aden.