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Madhavrao Khanderao Bagal (28 May 1895 – 1986), also called Bhai Madhavrao Bagal, was a noted writer, artist, journalist, social reformer, political activist, orator and freedom fighter from Kolhapur.
He was born on 28 May 1895 in Kolhapur to Khanderao Bagal.
His father Khanderao Bagal was a renowned pleader, tehsildar and also a social reformer. Khanderao was a leader of Satyashodhak Samaj and editor of a newspaper named “Hunter” and hence was also known as “Hunterkar”.
He received his early education at the Rajaram High School, Kolhapur and later completed painting, modelling and mural decoration courses from J. J. School of Art, Bombay
Madhavrao Bagal, created his own style of painting with expressing light and shade through minimal colors. The environment created in his painting is beautiful. He has written two books namely Artists of Kolhapur and Art and Artists that talk about art and artists in Kolhapur
As a social reformer, he worked for up-liftment of Dalits and advocated they be allowed right to visit temple and mingling with other castes.His father was staunch Satyashodhak and Madhavrao followed his footsteps and way back in 1927, he declared that Satyashodhaks should become Socialists.
As a political activist he founded Praja Parishad in Kolhapur State in 1939 and took efforts of awaken farmers of Kolhapur and raise their voice against unjust revenues by way of agitation, in which his chief companion was Ratnappa Kumbhar and others.
In 1941, when local self-government was instituted in erstwhile Princely State of Kolhapur, the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation was put under control board of three persons — Madhavrao Bagal, Govindrao Korgaonkar and Ratnappa Kumbhar.
He was among the front runner leaders, who spearheaded the agitation for independence of India and especially merger of Kolhapur State into Union of India. He was arrested with several of his compatriots like Ratnappa Kumbhar, Dinakara Desai, Nanasaheb Jagadale, R. D. Minche and others. He joined Indian National Congress in mid-1930s, disillusioned by pro-British politics played by older leaders of peasants movement like Bhaskarrao Jadhav, with whom Madhavrao had started agricultural co-operative societies in Kolhapur and adjoining regions.During 1940-47, he was closely working with leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Vallabhbhai Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru.
He was amongst the front-runner leaders from Maratha region, who had jointly formed Peasants and Workers Party in year 1947 with other former congressman such as Keshavrao Jedhe of Pune, Shankarrao More of Pune, Kakasaheb Wagh of Nasik, Nana Patil of Satara, Tulsidas Jadhav of Solapur, Dajiba Desai of Belgaum, P K Bhapkar and Datta Deshmukh of Ahmadnagar, Vithalrao Hande and others.
He died in 1986.