SHOLAPUR DURING POST-1818 PERIOD
1. Transfer of power: On the plains of Ashte, the devoted Maratha general Bapu Gokhale fought a battle with General Smith on 19th February 1818 and died a hero's death for his master Peshwa Bajirao II who in his anxiety to escape had no patience to look after his fallen hero and his associates. Young Pratapsinh, the Chhatrapati and his party who were similarly left helpless on the camping ground with all Bajirao's treasure valued at about one crore, fell into British hands. The Chhatrapati was soon handed over by General Smith to Elphinstone, the Commissioner of the Deccan. The Marathas still put up a last ditch fight at the Sholapur fort under the direction of Ganpatrao Panse who used his ammunitions with effect, but he also fell wounded and the resistance was over. When. Bajirao left Maharashtra for good in 1818, one Bhagwantrao became the first Mamlatdar of Sholapur under the British, Venkatappa, Shriniwasrao and Bhagwantrao acting as administrators. In the course of the arrangements that followed subsequently, the western part of the present Sholapur district including Pandharpur fell within the jurisdiction of the Raja of Satara and the southern part including Mangalwedha remained with the Patwardhan Sardars. As it appears from an unpublished paper of 1818 a liquor shop at Pandharpur was closed by the orders of the Peshwa, but from another paper of 7th December, 1837 it was the Satara Raja who settled a dispute between the Badwes and the Pujaris of Pandharpur (I. G. H. Khare: 3rd edition, pp. 28-29). Sholapur district was formed in 1838 and although it was abolished in 1864, it was revived in 1869. As a result of the merger of the States in 1949 two new talukas Akkalkot and Malshiras were formed and added to Sholapur district. The present Sholapur district now consists of eleven talukas with a population of 22,53,840 according to the Census of 1971.
Although the four statues of martyrs of the Martial Law administration of Sholapur in 1930 standing on the highway in Sholapur town arrest the attention of a passerby who respectfully pays a tribute to them, it must be said that Sholapur has not been largely influenced
by the political events in Maharashtra. There is no palpable trace of any attempt of wild tribes to challenge the British power in post-1818 period. The historical unrest of 1857 is not known to have left the area as affected as many other parts of Maharashtra. Vasudev Balwant Phadke, the first revolutionary product of the famine riots, is said to have paid a visit to Akkalkot with a desire to receive the blessings of the sage (Swami) who then stayed there sometime in 1879, and is said to have returned disappointed. Sholapur was never a political capital of any mediaeval power. It remained for a long time educationally backward. Sholapur, of course, could not escape the nation-wide awakening brought about by the establishment of the Indian National Congress in 1885 and headed consecutively by the two stalwarts Tilak and Gandhi but that was late in the 20th century. Similarly the vicinity of Nizam's dominions and Nizam's attitude towards his non-Muslim population had its repercussions.
2. Influence of geography: Sholapur, like any other district, is largely influenced by what its geography has made it. The area is largely situated on the plains. The river Bhima flows from north-west to south-east and Sina from north to south right across the district. The south-west and north-east parts of the district are arid areas. With the British rule came peace and it gave a great stimulus to internal trade. Sholapur is the meeting ground for Maharashtra, Karnatak and Telangana and from very old times the trade routes passed across Sholapur district to Chaul on the western sea coast and later to Bombay under the British. Lingayats came from Karnatak and had a genius for trade. The Marwadis were already there during the Maratha rule and then came the Jains from Idar State to Phaltan and from Phaltan to Sholapur. Padmasalis, a class of skilled weavers, came from Telangana and the local Maratha population having lost its military occupation took to agriculture while Veershaivas were largely interested in trade. Sholapur is thus a sort of inter-provincial or in modern terminology an inter-state area where men of peaceful pursuits have flocked and followed their occupations little influenced by the political events that affected Bombay, Delhi or even Pune.
3. Religious influences: The beginning of the 19th Century was a period when religion largely influenced the attitude and regulated the daily life of people in two ways. The so-called upper class was engrossed in the periodic routine of rituals such as Vratas (regular religious duties) and Udyapana (termination) and Kuldharma (ancestral religious observances) and Kulachar (ancestral rituals) while the mass of people were engrossed in facing the worldly adversities with an attitude of resignation and singing bhajans (religious songs) for the purpose in the village temple or lavanis on the open plains. They also practised their rituals but not as many as the upper class did. Three religious centres, Pandharpur, Sholapur and Tuljapur, that is nearby, have profoundly affected the masses and to a certain extent the classes also of Sholapur, not to say even of a larger area round. The two Varis of Ashadhi and Kartiki, when a large number of people proceed in procession en masse to Pandharpur singing bhajans, walking on foot and sometimes even without a footware on. Many of the people hail even from Khandesh and Berar. The seeds having been sown in the fields before July, the farmers leave their dear land to the care of rains and turn towards Pandharpur. Similarly in November when the crops are grown, they are collected and stored and the farmers turn to Pandharpur, only to return when the season for celebrating marriages approaches.
Although it is difficult to state when exactly the practice of Vari started, the credit of having given to it a systematic regulation goes to one Haibatraobaba who was an officer under the Shindes of Gwalior. He devoted his later life to the periodic pilgrimages to Pandharpur. During his period of seclusion he stayed at Alandi and died in 1836. Tuljapur is a centre of all-time pilgrimage where devotees of Bhavani (Goddess) have flocked since the days of Shivaji who was her great devotee and who placed her counter-image at Pratapgad in Satara district sometime after 1655. We have the authority of Ramdas who said ' Goddess Bhavani would not stop at Tuljapur and would move towards the west at Paraghat in Sahyadri'.
Lingayats are the followers of Basaveshvar of Kalyani who lived in the 12th century. At Sholapur there is a temple in honour of Siddheshvar, a 12th-century devotee of Shiv and it has become the sacred centre of the Lingayat faith and also of Hindus too. There is an annual pilgrimage known as Gadda pilgrimage on Makar Sankrant (14th of January) day and also a procession known as 'procession of kathis' (sticks). In fact this whole area is a meeting ground for Bhagwats from all over Maharashtra and Lingayats from Karnatak, who stay side by side in respectful tolerance towards each other's ways of worship. Amidst the din and the stir of their daily preoccupations either on land or at shops the populace of Sholapur district is ever engrossed in meeting these religious centres. The practice has largely taught them to look with indifference to their own worldly-worries. This religious outlook is fortunately accompanied by a humanitarian heart which feels sympathy for the sufferers and the helpless. No city in Maharashtra can beat Sholapur in running more charitable hospitals, boarding houses for poor students and such other institutions as Sholapur does by private effort and many public institutions and temples in the district and even outside have received donations from Sholapur businessmen and traders.
4. Commerce and industry : Sholapur is a great and convenient trade centre for the neighbouring Hyderabad and the Karnatak areas and it has subsequently become an industrial centre too. Therefore it is Bombay and Ahmedabad combined to the extensive terrain sprawling to the east of Sahyadri hills along Godavari and Krishna valleys. Besides Sholapur proper, Barshi, Latur and recently Kurduvadi have busy centres. Barshi serves for textiles, Latur for agricultural products and Kurduvadi as a great railway junction. The lead in trade was taken by the Warad family in the latter half of the 18th century when Peshva Madhavrao I was persuaded to open a market centre which is now known as Mangalvar Peth. Ever since the middle of the 19th century, i.e., from about 1840, raw cotton used to be sent from the Hyderabad area to Bombay, bullocks and camels being used as means of transport. The trade routes run through Barshi, Latur and Sholapur towards Bombay. Rally brothers acted as the agents who predominated this internal trade. In 1859 the railway route from Bombay passed through Sholapur towards Raichur, which was later supplemented by another from Kurduvadi to Latur and a third from Kurduvadi to Miraj which gave a great stimulus to export trade. Since about 1870, Mallappa Warad ventured into this trade and in about ten years overcame the competition of Rally brothers in the Sholapur market. Then Warad ventured to act as the agent between the western export agents and the local wholesale dealers and opened an Adat at Bombay overcoming the competition of the Gujarati and Marwadi businessmen in the field. Mallappa also took the lead in large-scale agriculture in Sholapur and looked forward towards the production of sugar; but the Government prohibition to utilise molasses for rum proved a great obstacle. Then he turned his attention to textile industry. But even before this, the first textile mill in Sholapur was started by Seth Morarji Gokuldas of Bombay in 1874. As Sholapur was often affected by famine, labour was cheap, water facilities so necessary for mills were available, thanks to the construction of the tank and raw cotton could be available in larger quantities from the Hyderabad area and Sholapur weavers were skilled in their profession. For these reasons the textile industry could hold its ground in Sholapur. In 1898 Seth Laxmidas Khimji from Bombay started the Laxmi cotton mill and in the same year Mallappa Warad stepped into the field and opened the Narsingji Girji Mills. Although Morarji Gokuldas had the lead in textile industry in Sholapur, the credit of having laid the foundations of the modern form of business in Sholapur must be given to the local adventurer Mallappa Warad. In making a headway he always cool-headedly followed the line of least resistance. Besides the three mills started in the 19th century two more mills were added in the first decade of the 20th and when
all the mills in Sholapur were working in good condition the total labour employed was over 31,000. In 1921 Sholapur was described as a great milling community, super-imposed upon an old Indian town. After the First World War the mills in Sholapur earned great reputation for their products which had a demand in Africa and they earned big profits too upto 1927-28; but from 1928 they received a setback on account of the Congress propaganda of khaddar. i.e., hand-spun and hand-woven yarn. When the Second World War started, the textile industry again began to make bumper profits. By about 1950 the industry started facing economic crisis. One of the mills was permanently closed in 1964, the Narsingji Girji Mills which were taken over by Government in 1958 were recently purchased by them and the other mills somehow are facing and fighting the difficulties in their way. It is unnecessary to go into the details of these recent vicissitudes but it can be said that there is no other centre than Sholapur in western Maharashtra, except Bombay, which has earned the reputation of being a centre of modern textile industry. Besides textile industry a variety of other industries such as those of smiths, pulse-makers, oil mill owners, dyers and printers and leather manufacturers not to speak of the wholesale grain dealers and others engaged in trade and transport, constituted the business of Sholapur that overshadowed all other aspects of the mixed community of Sholapur which included a good portion of skilled and unskilled Muslim workers too. The mill labour of Sholapur are organised groups having their own unions but it can be definitely stated after a close scrutiny, that Sholapur labour has not been affected over any communal, regional, linguistic and such other issues that stand in the way of proprietor-labour relationship. Strikes and lock-outs have taken place, but largely on economic grounds. Sholapur labour does not indicate the cosmopolitan character of the Bombay labour, because it is largely local, a large number having their native places in nearby villages; and as a consequence Sholapur labour is irregular, registering a large percentage of absentees who choose any excuse to be away from their work, quite a few having a small piece of land of their own which they would like to attend to.
5. Communal disputes: Although the factory labour was not any time divided over communal issues, it cannot be said that Sholapur, especially its urban areas, are unaffected by it. There have been occasional, not to say periodic, Hindu-Muslim riots in Sholapur especially during the 20th century. The occasions usually were the festivity procession of Kathis in honour of Siddheshvar, so sacred to the Lingayats and the Ganapati festival celebrated by the Hindus. The processions usually passed through the streets of mixed locality and music played by the side of Masjids hurt the Muslim psychology which
had become so touchy on account of the political and communal atmosphere then prevailing in the country. In the year 1925 there was one such riot when it appears that the Muslim communalists had an edge over the non-Muslims that were caught entirely unawares, but in 1927 it had its reaction and the Muslims suffered heavily. The rulers of the period who usually were supposed to have adopted a policy of holding a balance between the two communities were inclined, on more than one occasion, to the side of the minority on the plea of affording them protection from the possible tyranny of the majority. The anti-Hindu attitude of the Razakars in the nearby Nizam's dominion in 1947, which resulted in a great influx of its Hindu population in the city gave rise to bitterness between the two communities in Sholapur also. Even after the inauguration of the Sovereign Democratic Republic of India in 1950, the riots erupted occasionally upto as late as in 1967. One must hasten to remark that this feeling of communalism is periodic and largely confined to cities. There have been occasions when amateur actors from both the communities in Sholapur have staged a drama and donated the proceeds for a Hindu charitable purpose and in a village in Sangola taluka Muslims were encouraged to settle and follow their profession and the majority community subscribed to the construction of a mosque for them. The Muharrum procession in rural areas is usually participated in by both the communities.
6. Review of political events: During the last quarter of the 19th century signs of political discontent became manifest among the English-educated awakened middle class people. This was also the product of frequent recurrence of famines and the distress caused to the peasants thereby. Vasudev Balvant Phadke who might be said to be the first revolutionary product of these conditions had, it is said, a few associates in Sholapur; but they did not make any palpable headway. Towards the close of the 19th century Ranade and Tilak represented two lines of thinking over political issues in Maharashtra and Ranade's role in that field was subsequently taken over by Gokhale. Except for the single-handed revolutionary attempt by Limaye who had collected a few weapons in 1908 but who soon escaped the police search after him, right upto 1920, the educated class of Sholapur usually adopted a middle-of-the-road policy and followed it without fear or favour, some inclining more towards Gokhale than towards Tilak. Mallappa Warad, Rao Bahadur Sathc, Rao Bahadur Mule, Dr. Kirloskar and Rambhau Sane, a pleader of Barshi, were some of the leaders of political thinking in Sholapur during that period, Sathe and Kirloskar inclining towards the Moderates and Warad in his heart of hearts towards Tilak. In 1920 the session of the Provincial Conference of Bombay was held at Sholapur with
N. C. Kelkar presiding and Samant, a local pleader, acting as the chairman of the reception committee. Among the leaders of public life in those days must be counted also the names of Hirachand Nemchand and Kakade, editor of the oldest Marathi newspaper of Sholapur ' Kalpataru '. Warad and Hirachand distinguished themselves as the prominent participants in the civic life of the city. There arc so many hospitals and other charitable institutions of which they have been the principal donors, the present monumental palatial building of Sholapur Corporation being a standing tribute to the memory of Mallappa Warad. After 1920 the mill labour began to be organised and occasionally went on strike, the early leadership of which was provided by the communist leaders in the country and communal riots began to erupt periodically when Khan Bahadur Imamsaheb led the Muslims and Khadkikar, Gulabchand and Rajwade the Hindus.
After 1920 Gandhiji came on the scene and the political atmosphere of the whole country, with Sholapur of course as its part, became surcharged with the Gandhian spirit. But it was not till Gandhi initiated his Salt Satyagraha Movement in 1930 that Sholapur came to be prominently marked on the political map of India. Young workers like Dr. Antrolikar, Tulsidas Jadhav and Jajuji came on the scene and became staunch followers of the Gandhian thought, while Gulabchand and Rajwade differed from Gandhi's programme and policy. It is unnecessary to go into these details for the purpose of surveying the events in Sholapur. On the 8th of May Nariman and Bajaj, the two national leaders, were arrested by Government and the people of Sholapur, as in other cities in the country, started processions in streets and launched upon a programme of Satyagraha when a few cases of violence took place. Police party arrived and arrested nine of the participants. Knight, the Collector, arrived on the scene and stood with a pistol in his hand. The collector gave a warning to the crowd to disperse and fired a few shots in the air. The confused crowd held its ground. A few stones were thrown in the direction of the police, some of whom were hit. The crowd clamoured for the release of the arrested. Police again fired shots at the crowd. Mallappa Dhan-shetti, a youth, boldly rushed forth from the crowd and requested the police officer in command to release the nine to appease the crowd but the officer refused and continued his firing and mortally wounded one Shankar Shivdare. The crowd now became desperate and Knight was frightened, as by that time the ammunition was exhausted and the crowd could note it. Mallappa again requested for the release of the arrested but the prestige of the rulers was at stake and the collector refused. The lives of the collector and the police officer were at that time in danger and Mallappa thought it a matter of principle to save the two high-placed officers and allow them to find their way
out of the dangerous situation. The officers made their way by the backdoor and the police ran from their posts. People were now enraged against Mallappa's behaviour. Mallappa dispersed the crowd by whirling his lathi desperately in all directions. The collector, now adopting a still more revengeful policy, carried on firing but the people retaliated by becoming intensely desperate, uprooted telegraph-posts, broke open the Government compound gate, attacked the police, killing one police named Ala-ud-din. Court building was set on fire and the European population took shelter in the railway station compound for considerations of personal safety. The military was called in and the machinegun-carrying lorries ran through the streets of Sholapur, firing widely all round killing one innocent boy Rajaram Ranade. On the 10th of May, Rambhau Rajwade came out with his special issue of the Karnmyogi, giving a very detailed and picturesque account of the 8th of May happenings. For three days, 8th, 9th and 10th of May, Jajuji as the Congress leader provided volunteers to watch the city at night as the police had run away. In the meanwhile Knight argued that there was no firing at all and compelled people out of fear to confess that there had been none; but some boldly asserted the fact. Wearing of the Gandhi cap was an anathema to the soldiers who ordered stray passersby to take off the caps. On the 9th of May section 144A was clamped on the city. Knight went on leave and saw Mr. Hotson, the Home member, at Bombay. On the 11th March the Sikh regiment was called and ordered to fire at the unarmed crowd but the regiment refused. The enraged officers rushed to take a stern action and Khan Bahadur Imamsaheb, a retired police officer, exploited the situation, recollecting the communal scuffle of 1927 in which the Hindus had an upper hand. Politics more than violence, and local party squabbles more than politics led to the clamping of the Martial Law on Sholapur on the 12th of May. The military arrived on the scene and took charge of the town, as it were to teach a lesson with a demonstration of its strength to the nationalist forces in the whole country. Colonel Page was in charge. The military arrested any suspect and placed him before the military tribunal. No defence could be offered. Wearing of the Gandhi cap and flying the national flag on private and public buildings were regarded as crimes and passersby were ordered to take off their Gandhi caps. One Tulsidas Jadhav refused to do so inspite of the pistol pointed at his chest. He was fortunately allowed to go. Vasant Shinde, Kisan Sarda were arrested and then Mallappa, who was looked upon as the leader of the crowd and Abdul Rasul Kurban Hussain. In the course of an inquiry before the tribunal, Mallappa pleaded that he was not on the scene when the mob had practised acts of violence and also pointed out that, had he not been on the scene on the 8th, the collector's life would have
been in danger but that later, he had escaped from the scene. But his defence was rejected and not recorded. Kurban Hussain pointed out that he was looked upon as a suspect in sheer revenge for his pro-Hindu views and his leadership of the mill labour but that plea also went unrecorded. In the meanwhile the Governor of Bombay congratulated the martial law administrators for having restored law and order in Sholapur. In the course of the trial before the court, Justice Wadia sentenced them all for being hanged to death. Rajwadc was already sentenced to ten years' rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 10,000. All appeals over the death sentences to the four victims right up to the Privy Council and a prayer for mercy signed by one lakh of Bombay citizens went unheeded. The four victims refused to sign their own application for mercy and faced the inevitable calmly on 12th January 1931 in Yeravada jail. Rajwade was released by the mediation of Mahatma Gandhi who refused to sign the famous Gandhi-Irwin Pact until the punishment was quashed aside. During the Martial Law period, Satyagraha for upholding the national flag, Zenda Satyagraha as it was called, was led by V. V. Sathe and others. On the 30th of June Martial Law was lifted. This brief account of the Martial Law in Sholapur should be concluded by another incident ideologically connected with it. On 22nd of July 1931, Hotson, the Home member, was fired at by V. B. Gogate in the Fergusson College Library, Pune. When asked as to why he had done so he quietly answered ' as a protest against your tyrannical administration'. As he was being arrested, up came the shouts from the students round about ' Gogate Zindabad ! Vande Mataram ! ' It is needless to follow the subsequent political events in Sholapur as they mostly follow the lines of similar events in Maharashtra.
7. Education: In the field of education Sholapur has made all-round progress. In 1855 Sholapur district had ten Marathi and only one English teaching schools with a total of 804 students on the roll. In 1863 there was only one girls' school. The present Government Technical High School which was named after the then Governor of Bombay Lord Northcote was established under the title ' Sholapur High School' in 1855. In 1891 Rao Bahadur G. V. Joshi was its head-master who popularised the idea of giving it a commercial bias. In 1902 it was named after the Governor and in 1938 the high school was given technical bias and became Northcote Technical High School. In the beginning, the teachers of the school for want of sufficient students, had to carry on propaganda to attract the students and popularise the course. After 1947 the school is being known as a ' Tantrika Prashala' and came to be officially so called by that name in 1971. For women's education, three institutions are well known; The Saraswati Mandir was established in 1895 and has been working in Maharshi
Karve's tradition. The Sevasadan branch was established in 1923 and a well-organised ' Jain Shravika Sansthanagar' (Ashram) school was started, thanks to the devoted leadership of Padmashri Sumatibai Shah. Sholapur has a rare distinction of having a centre of taking up the work of issuing annually an astronomical ephemeris and almanac, popularly known as the 'Date Panchang' founded by Laxmanshastri Date who, through his own persistent efforts, plodded his way and arrived at a system of his own, which by now has been acknowledged even by the State. Sholapur is the only centre throughout Maharashtra which annually issues such a calendar which has become popular all over Maharashtra and beyond. Sholapur Muslim population has a distinction of having amongst them many skilled weavers and quite a few painters and musicians and amongst the latter Mehibub Jan was once very popular and famous. Among other eminent educational institutions of Sholapur, the Haribhai Devakaran High School run by the S. P. Mandali of Pune and started in 1918 through the initiative of the lovers of the cause in Sholapur, occupies perhaps the pride of place in the field of secondary education. The first Arts College was started by the D. A. V. Trust and management in 1940. It is an Aryasamajist organisation whose attention was attracted towards Sholapur on account of the Razakar's activities in nearby Hyderabad in 1938-39. Subsequently other institutions were started, viz., a B.Ed. College, a Commerce College and a Medical College also as late as in 1960 in the organisation of which Dr. Vaishampayan of Sholapur Medical Society took the lead.
8. Literary activities: Although Sholapur is not known as a great literary centre, Ram Joshi (1762-1812) of the period of Bajirao II, famous in Marathi literature for his popular lavani songs and Shambhurai Maharaj, formerly a Hindu minister of Tipu Sultan, who in later life turned his face from worldly affairs and devoted himself to religious songs belonged to Sholapur. Towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, Ganesh B. Mate wrote on Vedant philosophy and Kavi Kunja Vihari (born 1896), a great living poet, came forth with his famous poem over the Martial Law victims of Sholapur in which he has made Mallappa going to the gallows sing to his mother, ' wait, I shall be born in to you again within nine months' and the song went deep into the hearts of the crowds of Maharashtra in those days. Prof. DR. Bendre, teaching in the D. A. V. College, is a famous Kannad litterateur and Jayadevibai Ligade, another Kannad poetess, has composed a Basava puran Mahakavya. Shri B. P. Bahirat of Pandharpur, student of the Dhyaneshwar philosophy, Shri S. S. Hanmante, the author of a 'Sanket Kosh' (Sanket Kosha: A collection of conventionally understood expressions having some literary, historical or social allusion) and
Dr. V. M. Kulkarni, a poet, who has composed many notable prayerful suggestive simple songs, are a few others whose names deserve to be recorded amongst the literary persons of Sholapur district. A branch of the Sahitya Parishad (Marathi Literary Organisation) is also working in the town.
9. Miscellaneous: Sholapur municipality established in 1852, which has now become a corporation, has its office at present in the palatial building donated by the Warads. Neither the communal, nor the regional differences, and not even the differences between the liberals and the nationalist parties of the early 20th century ever affected the discussions over civic affairs. On the other hand whenever Government authorities during the British rule ever tried to over-ride the limited powers given to the municipality, the popular party ever presented a united front and faced the authorities firmly and unanimously. They had, of course, their differences when there was a conflict on the question of water-supply between the mill-owners and the general public but they have always been settled in some empirical ways. Two other institutions of Sholapur deserve notice, the first being the Patients Relief Association founded in 1932 by Shri D. R. Bhave which has brought within the reach of the common man, the appliances so urgently required to attend the sick and the second, the Hirachand Nemchand Vachanalaya established in 1926 which is a well-organised library with over 26,000 books and having a rare distinction of local newspapers clippings classified topically and chronologically. It is very helpful to a student studying the history of Sholapur district of about the last 100 years. Besides the oldest ' Kalpataru ', there are two dailies in Sholapur ' Sanchar' edited by Ranga Vaidya and ' Sholapur Samachar' edited by Baburao Jakkal. As district newspapers, they are well conducted and have a fairly wide circulation. Sholapur has good theatres where the mill labour is more attracted by pictures depicting fights, miraculous escapes and love affairs rather than by either social or mythological pictures. The theatres do good business whenever there is no slump in industrial and commercial activity. When a very popular picture is advertised, the advertisements are garlanded by the picture-fond public and there are men who proceed in groups accompanied by band music for the purchase of tickets. Arvind Gajendragadkar, the famous flute-player and Jabbar Patel, the well-known film director, originally belonged to Sholapur. Unlike Ahmadnagar, there is no serious Christian influence in Sholapur, although the Anglican Church and the American Marathi Mission have been doing their religious and social work in Kurduvadi and Sholapur since the early 19th century. Sholapur has produced no social reformer of note in the late 19th or early 20th century, although men like Rao Bahadur Sathe and Kirloskar have been known for their
liberal views over social questions. Recently, during the post-Independence period, there has been a District Harijan Sevak Sangh working for the harijans and aborigines with a view to bring about their all-round social uplift and Keshavlal Virchand Shah has been working independently in the same field. Laxman Abusingh and Ranashringare are some of the leaders belonging to the Harijan castes. In conclusion, it must be said that commerce is writ large in the daily activities of Sholapur district. Prayers and religious practices make up their outlook and in business they find their means of living. Politics and social reforms are as it were fitfully superimposed on the people that are otherwise engrossed in their religious routine and economic pursuits.