~ Milind Patil
He was the Executive Director of ‘Pune Commercial & Contracting Company’. Jotiba was a successful businessman. His company made magnificent and costly constructions of canals, tunnels, bridges, buildings, textiles, palaces and roads. The important work done by Jotiba’s company is the Katraj tunnel, the Yerwada Bridge and the canal of the Khadakwasla Dam.
In the report of the British Government’s Education Department, it was found that during 1850, he had arranged to provide industrial and agricultural education to all schools. He says, “Industrial Department should be attached to the schools in which children would learn useful trades and crafts and be able on leaving school to maintain themselves comfortably and independently.”
Jotiba’s company also published books. In 1865, written by Tukaram Tatya Padwal, a book based on Buddhist philosopher Ashwaghosh, was published by this company.
Jotiba was a progressive farmer.
In the book ‘Shetkaryacha Aasud’, Jotiba draws out the concept of agricultural development. He demanded that farming should be filled up with the cost of production and at least 15 to 20 percent profit should be given to the marketers, farmers should get adequate and perennial water for irrigation, which should be provided by the tap so that it would not be wasted, the farmers should be sent abroad by the government to study modern farming practices. Agriculture should be given an industry, trade linkage. Milk, eggs, wool production industries should be started supplementary to agriculture.
Jotiba has written many poems on the stock market. What needs to be done in this business, what skills should be used, he guided on many aspects of the profession.
As the appointed Commissioner of the Pune City, he worked for seven years from 1876 to 1883. The city had been struggling to get water and Jotiba provided it through the taps; roads, parks, libraries, schools, clinics were built in his tenure. Information about the city’s health, cleanliness and education had been made available to the people. During the visit of the Governor General to Pune, he had shown that expenditure should be incurred for the construction of the schools.
Jotiba located the lost samadhi of Shivaji Maharaj and started the Shivjayanti celebrations in Maharashtra. Jotiba modernised and reformed the art in India.
He wrote the first ballad in modern India which was a ballad on Shivaji Maharaj. He wrote the first play in modern India named Tritiya Ratna.
Definitely, a man of vision, the Father of Modern India. MahatmaPhule”
~ Milind Patil