Swami Ramanand Teerth – Biography
“Shall Break But Not Bend”
SWAMI RAMANAND TEERTH , a born Karmayogi, always preferred working with masses and rescuing them from tyranny. Like Mahatma Gandhi’s inspiring living-principle of non-violence and truth, Swamiji’s love for the suffering masses and his zeal to awaken them brought him close to the people at large.
Born on October 3, 1903, in Sindge village in Bijapur district in Karnataka, Venkatesh had his primary education at Gangapur village, the famous abode of Lord Narasimha Saraswati the Incarnation of Lord Dattatreya. He could complete his middle school education at kalyani and later high school education from sholapur. Always sensitive to the people’s urges young venkatesh found new hope in his yearning for freedom when Mahatma Gandhi launched his famous non-cooperation movement. He was then just 19 years. Though fully involved in non-cooperation religious fervor. He took his B.A., Degree from the Tilak Vidyapeeth, Pune standing first in the University; and then proceeded to pass the M.A. Examination, with flying colours, by writing a thesis on “Evolution of Democracy “.
In 1927, young Venkatesh joined N.M. Joshi, the father of Indian Trade Union Movement, as an activist at Sholapur. But his restless soul was looking forward to more challenging jobs. He joined the Hipparga school as the Head Master in June 1929. Hipparga was then a small hamlet in Osmanabad district, now in Maharashtra State.
When he worked as a teacher, he was laying the foundation of lofty career for himself. The school at Hipperga had atmosphere of a National School. Being a born teacher, he was not satisfied with mere classroom teaching. He shared his views with his pupils on current political thoughts and tried to inculcate in them the democratic sprite so essential to build a strong people’s movement, for a real final “Battel of Swaraj “ to be fought on the soil of the then Nizam’s State.
It was the night before the Sankranti day in the year 1932 the R.S. Narayana Swami come to Hipperga in Marathwada to initiate Venkatesh into Sanyasa when he was given the name of Swami Ramanand Tirtha. From hipperga, destiny dragged him to Ambajogai where with the help of few trusted colleagues, he started the Yogeshwari Nutan Vidyalaya.
The transformation of Swamiji as the leader of the people was brought about while he founded and nurtured a number of educational institutions which produced men of character and education who were in the vanguard of the Hyderabad freedom struggle and in diverse fields of constructive activity. His first experiment with his students was as the Hipperga National School and at Ambajogai’s Yogeshwari Nutan Vidyalaya, where an attempt was made to touch the life of the students at every point and to develop not only the intellectual level but also their mental and spiritual capacities. The objective of the these schools was to create a band of selfless workers devoted to the cause of the poor.
SWAMIJI took over as the President of the Hyderabad State Congress in June 1947, in the first-ever open session held musheerabad in Hyderabad. The first salvo was fired. He prepared the people for the final battle, mobilized and bulkwark of the resistance; and paved the way for the showdown with the Nizam and his gangster-in-chief, Kasim Razvi. Swamiji had always warned that the last battle for India’s freedom would be fought on the soil of Hyderabad.