Sanu Guruji or Pandurang Sadashiv Sane is one of the main Indian freedom fighters from Maharashtra who died on June 11, 1950.
Sane Guruji committed suicide as he was upset with the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi as well as several issues post-independence. He was a Marathi author, social activist, teacher and freedom fighter. Sane Guruji is often referred to as National Teacher of India.
He graduated with a degree in Sanskrit and Marathi and earned a master’s degree in philosophy before opting for the teaching profession. He worked as a teacher at Pratap High school. He used to teach in rural areas despite having an option to teach wealthier students.
He was also a gifted speaker, captivating listeners with his passionate speeches on civil rights and justice.
Sane Guruji published a magazine called Vidhyarthi when he was a teacher and it became instantly popular among students. His teaching profession continued for six years after which he decided to dedicate his whole life for the Indian freedom struggle.
Post his resignation from school job, he joined the Indian Independence Movement when Mahatma Gandhi began the Dandi March in 1930. He was imprisoned by British officials in Dhule Jail for his work in the Civil Disobedience Movement. Vinoba Bhave was also in the same jail in 1932 and Bhave addressed a series of lectures on Bhagwad Gita on every Sunday.
Sane Guruji learned languages like Bengali and Tamil. He also translated the famous work of Kural by Thiruvalluvar into Marathi. He recognized the importance of Indian languages especially in the context of problems of national integration. He later started Antar Bharati movement. Antarbharati Anuvad Suvidha Kendra and the Sane Guruji Rashtriya Smarak would continue this legacy.
He also brought awareness on the subject of untouchability, Sane toured throughout Maharashtra for about four months in 1947.
The conclusion of this tour was fast at Pandharpur to open a Vitthal Temple for untouchables. The fast continued for 11 days from May 1 to May 11 in 1947, and the doors of the Vitthal temple were finally opened for the untouchables.
Sane also played a crucial role in spreading the presence of Congress Party in rural Maharashtra. In 1936, Sane Guruji participated in the Election Campaign for the Bombay Provincial Elections.