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‘Fakira’ by Annabhau Sathe: An inspirational story

‘Fakira’ by Annabhau Sathe: An inspirational story

Vinay Damodar 

‘Fakira’ is a novel written by Annabhau Sathe. The foreword to the book (novel) was written by V. S. Khandekar. Annabhau Sathe has dedicated this novel to the writings of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.

Fakira is full of stories which depict the life of Fakira, a man belonging to the Mang caste. The book begins his father’s story. Daulati, Fakira’s grandfather, is married to Rahibai. They have a son named Ranoji who is married to Radha. There is always a fight between two villages—Shivgaon and Vategaon—over which village will host the jatra (village fair), traditional cultural practice.

The jatra consists of a competition where one village has to protect the jogani vati, the right to host jogas and joganis, while the other village attempts to snatch it. The one who takes away that right is the winner of the competition. And the village which loses has to wait and cannot organise any more more fairs. Ranoji wins this competition. He brings glory to his village. But Bapu Khot breaks the rules and murders Ranoji. He not only murders him but also severs his head from his body and also kills Ranoji’s horse Gabrya just to show off his valour. Ranoji has two sons Fakira and Sahadev. Fakira cuts the hand of Bapu Khot because he had beheaded his father.

Satyaba is one of Fakira’s best friends. He is from Kumaj. Satyaba’s mother is Banabai. Satyaba kills Choughule for beating one lady belonging to the Mahar caste. Uma Choughule, son of Choughule, fights Sattu (Satyaba). In this fight, Fakira and his team helps Sattu and he is saved.

There are many stories in which Fakira is shown as a hero for the people of Mang and Mahar communities. He never gets caught by his enemies. At last he surrenders to the British Army in order to save the people of Mang and Mahar communities in his village.

The book is written so meticulously that the whole scenario of that periodseems to appear before our eyes. The minute details of timings, atmosphere and emotions of the people are depicted throughout the depiction of that time period. As you start reading the book, your curiosity increases. The whole life journey of Fakira is shown in the book. Fakira is like a symbol of valour, a person who is fearless and fights for real causes; he fights and questions the injustice happening to the Mang and Mahar communities.

As Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar fought for all and against the injustice happening to them, similarly Fakira also fights for his community. That is why we can see due to the impact of such writings and speeches, many people started fighting against injustice.

Fakira is not only a motivational and inspirational story, but also helps to build confidence and ignite fire inside the reader to fight against injustice. The situation in that time period was bad, but now the situation is totally different. Positive changes are taking place and the Mang and Mahar communities are scaling new peaks of development every day.


Vinay Damodar is an Ambedkarite research scholar currently pursuing PhD in Inclusive Development and Social Justice, from Centre for  Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. His interest lies in intersections of Caste, Anti-caste movement, the Politics of Ambedkarite groups,  Dr. Ambedkar’s thoughts and vision, etc. He hails from Bhim Nagar, Akola, Maharashtra.