KANDALE, R. G. A TRUSTED LIEUTENANT OF BABA SAHIB .
( To- day 21 St May,2019 is his 107th birthday, Salute him)
The Mang or Matang (Minimadig in Gujarat and Rajasthan) is an untouchable caste in the Indian caste system Mangs were associated with low-status or ritually impure professions such as village musicians, cattle castrators, leather curers, midwives, hangmen, undertakers, and criminals. In the modern day they are listed as a Scheduled Caste, a designation which has replaced the former term Untouchable.Their origins lie in the Narmada Valley of India. They were part of Shiva ji's army and also had a large
presence in the East India company army. But after 1857 Indian Sepoy Rebellion (First war Of Indian Independence) Mangs were formerly classified as a criminal tribe under the Criminal Tribes Acts of the British Raj. Their recruitment in the marital services was also stopped by Lord Kitchener in early 1890.
Shri Ramachandra Khandale a Mang by Caste was born on 21 May 19I3 at village Kurkumbh, of Daund taluka in Pune district. Daund taluka comprises 165 villages. Bhima, Mula and Mutha are the three rivers in Daund.His father was Shri Genuji Khandale. Shri Ramachandra Khandale was admitted in Saints High school at Dound, an English medium school where he could study only upto the fourth standard.He married Lalubai and the couple had a daughter .His wife expired in 1958 when he was out for social work.
Shri R.G.Khandale was a dedicated worshipper or Potraj (Pujari) of a Goddess. Shri Baba Wagahmare from Dound an Ambedkarite worker was also belonging to Mang community. Shri Baba Wagahmare convinced Shri Khandale to stop the futile worship of the Hindu diety. Shri Wagahmare also asked him to shave off his hair and work for the upliftment of his community. Shri R.G.khandale got his hair cut in 1930 .Shri R.G. khandale happened to see the jalsa( Big politically motivated gathering) staged by Ramachandra Hari Bansode at Indapur city in Pune district. As the jalsa was based on social problems and prevailing deplorable conditions of Untouchables, it moved his inner conscious. Hereafter Shri R .G. Khandale was a changed person. He decided to strive to uplift the untouchables under the leadership of Dr. Ambedkar.
To carry on with his job of educating his Untouchable communities Shri R.G .Khandale foundedAll India Matang Sewa Samaj in1932. His Matang Samaj started rallying behind him. Thereafter he organized Bombay provincial Matang Parishador Conference in 1934 at Dound. Shri P N Rajbhoj (1906-1986)presided over the Conference. It was resolved in the conference to follow the policies and programs initiated by Dr. Ambedkar.All India Matang Sewa Samaj invited Dr. Ambedkar to Dound in 1936 to guide and advise the Dalits including Matangs in their political struggle. The Matang Parishad was active up to 1944.Being a true follower of Babasaheb Ambedkar Shri R.G. khandale believed that a separate electorate was necessary for the Dalits to ensure their real representation in the Legislatures. There was a collective view among Dalit leaders that with the passage of time their own Dalit political representatives in political parties shall ignore their Dalit voters if some mechanism as proposed in the separate electorate was not in place. This has proven correct in the present day politics of political parties. Now political leaders say more particularly Dalit leaders that Dalits have not voted for him or her as in the opposition too Dalits were contesting on the reserved seats. So the Dalits despite voting in large numbers do not get the desired credit of supporting parties.
Shri R.G. khandale worked to unite the Mahar, Chamar and Mang communities among the Scheduled Castes in Maharashtra. He stressed Dalits to avoid eating carcass and worshiping false deities. Earlier he himself was aPotraj to a goddess. But now he was guiding his Depressed Classes brothers to avoid such futile traditions. He was refuting the tradition of dedicating people to the goddess as Potraj, Devdasi and Murali .He sincerely though that Maharaki and Mangaki, the two hereditary services performed by Mang were in- dignifying the society. These services were traditionally performed by the Mahars and Mangs for baluta crumbs (Baluta is involuntary servitude because of which the hereditary servants were getting crumbs of bread as a reward).
Shri R.G. Khandale was convinced that the Depressed Classes needed political empowerment. When Dr. Ambedkar formed the Independent Labour Party (ILP) on 15th August 1936 Shri Khandale joined it. In 1939, he was also elected to the District Local Board, Pune. The IPL did a commendable job of winning
substantial (14)seats in the Provincial Assembly elections based on the separate electorates' in primary election to the Scheduled Castes. In 1945 all SCF candidates won in UP when congress won only 4 urban seats of Lucknow, Agra, Allahabad and Kanpur. But in general elections in 1946 all upper caste Hindus voted enblock in favour of Dalit nominated Congress candidates and SFC candidates lost except at two places. Stiff opposition to the Poona Pact started from here onwards for denying Dalits the provisions of separate electorates granted under Communal Award. Shri Khandale also joined the Scheduled Castes Federation (SCF) in 1942 and the Republican Party (RPI) of India in 1957. In 1952, General Election he successfully contested on SCF seat from Pune-Haveli Constituency. He was elected as Joint Secretary of the Maharashtra RPI unit in 1960. He was unsuccessful when in 1972 he contested in the General Elections from Daund Assembly seat. Shri R.G.Khandale actively participated in all the programmes of ILP; SCF and RPI.
Shri R.G. Khandale was sent to assist the leaders in Marathwada in organizing the satyagraha of landless peoples in 1953.Again he was deputed for similar purposes in1956 to Kalamba in Kolhapur. He was imprisoned at Aurangabad for one and a half month in 1953 and for 15 days in 1956 for having participated in the Satyagraha of landless persons.
Shri R.G. Khandale was also involved in the satyagrah held at Rahuri ( Ahmednagar district) in 1959 and Dound in 1964-65.. He was brain behind the founding of the Nav Jeevan Vidyarthi Vasatigrih (hostel) at Dound in 1959 for the Scheduled Caste boys. He kept himself actively engaged in running the affairs of this hostel till his last days
When Dr. Ambedkar along with his lakhs of followers embraced Buddhism onVijayadashmi day, 14 October 1956 at Nagpur, Shri R.G. Khandale too got converted to Buddhism. There after Shri R.G. Khandale engaged himself in propagating
the Buddhism among the Scheduled Castes. In recognition of his dedicated services to society and the Ambedkarite movement, the RPI Pune unit honored him on 21 May 1987 under the President ship of Smt J. Ishwari (1920-1991), the president of one of RPI wings. Shri Khandale was presented with a purse for rupees. 15, 051.00