Manoj Jarange Patil | मराठा योध्दा मनोज जरांगे पाटील
In the heart of Maharashtra, a man emerged as a beacon of hope for the Maratha community, leading a relentless battle for their rights and well-being. Manoj Jarange Patil, the founder and president of Shivba Sanghatna Maharashtra, has become a symbol of courage and determination in the fight for Maratha reservation and the upliftment of his people.
Early Life and Humble Beginnings:
Manoj Dada, as he is affectionately known, hails from the village of Mator in Maharashtra. His journey is a testament to the indomitable spirit that rises from humble beginnings. Starting as a waiter in a small hotel, Manoj Dada worked tirelessly for more than 12 years, saving every penny for a cause close to his heart – the welfare of his people.
Sacrificing for the Greater Good:
With a 5-acre land at his disposal, Manoj Dada took a bold step towards the well-being of the Maratha community. He sold 3 acres of his land, a selfless sacrifice aimed at supporting the struggling farmers and addressing the challenges faced by the Maratha youth.
The Andolan that Caught the Nation’s Attention:
Manoj Dada’s true impact on society came to light when he undertook a 17-day fast, drawing attention to the plight of Maratha farmers. The police responded with force during the Antarwali Sarati incident, where Manoj Dada and his fellow protestors were beaten. This marked the beginning of a transformative andolan for the Maratha reservation.
Fighting for Education and Employment:
Manoj Dada’s fasts were fueled by a deep concern for the educational and employment prospects of Maratha youth. With farming becoming an increasingly risky venture, many farmers were unable to afford their children’s education. Moreover, even educated youth faced a lack of job opportunities due to insufficient reservation in educational institutions and the job market.
Two Fasts, One Goal:
Undeterred by the challenges, Manoj Dada embarked on two fasts, the first lasting 17 days and the second 9 days. The government made promises both times, assuring reservation for the Maratha community, but failed to deliver. In response, Manoj Dada organized a historic long march from Antarwali Sarati to Azad Maidan in Mumbai, garnering support from 5 million people and 2 lakh vehicles.
A Landmark Victory:
After 40 years of relentless struggle, the Maratha community achieved a significant victory. The Government of Maharashtra issued a Government Resolution (GR) granting reservation to the Maratha caste in the OBC quota. Manoj Dada’s perseverance and the collective strength of the Maratha community had triumphed.
Legacy and Respect:
Manoj Jarange Patil stands tall as one of the most respected figures in Maharashtra, especially within the Maratha community. His dedication and sacrifice have left an indelible mark on the fight for justice and equality. The victory achieved is not just for the Marathas but for the principles of justice and equity that Manoj Dada embodies.