Anant Lakshman Kanhere or Anantrao was born on January 7, 1891, to a Brahmin family in Aayani (Anjani), a small village in the Khed Taluka of the Ratnagiri district. He received his primary education in Nizamabad, also known as Indur at the time, and had his English education in Aurangabad, where his uncle stayed. Kanhere went back to Aurangabad in 1908, where he met people from secret revolutionary groups. Anantrao used to stay with his friend Gangaram Marwadi, a businessman. Ganagram had taken the oath of ‘Abhinav Bharat’. Kashinath Tonape was a friend of Gangaram’s at Yewale. He belonged to Nashik’s Secret Society. Anantrao was put to the test by Gangaram before receiving the oath of allegiance. In Anantrao’s hand, he kept a pair of hot iron tongs. With tenacity and grit, he endured the fire. He once asked Anantrao to hold a lit lamp’s hot glass. It was in both of Anantrao’s palms. Even though his palms were burned, he did not release the glass. Anantarao was given the oath of secrecy of the Secret Organisation by Kashinath Tonape, a member of the Nashik, Maharashtra-based Secret Society.
Rise On Atrocities
British atrocities against innocent Indians increased at the turn of the 20th century. Lokmanya Tilak was imprisoned for six years. Babarao, also known as Ganesh Damodar Savarkar, was given a life sentence for publishing Vinayak Savarkar’s patriotic songs. Babarao Savarkar’s prosecution was the responsibility of Jackson, the Nashik collector at the time. He subjected Waman Sakharam Khare, a prominent lawyer, to such severe torture that Khare lost his mental balance. Khare’s only “offence” was that he appealed in favour of revolutionary forces.
The patriotic youth of Nashik reacted strongly to all of these events. The final straw was when a British officer killed a farmer by beating him to death for refusing to let his vehicle overtake him. Kanhere and his friends decided that now is the only time!
Anantrao took the train from Aurangabad to Nashik on September 19, 1909. Vinayakrao Deshpande gave him a gun. In a deserted area, he practiced shooting with that gun. He observed Jackson when he visited the District Collector’s office. He took a picture of himself intending to be hanged after killing Jackson; Consequently, his brother and parents should have at least one photo to commemorate his death.
Jackson was given a promotion outside of Nashik when the situation was getting out of hand. Kanhere and his friends settled on the following: Now is the only time! The revolutionaries thought it would become difficult to kill Jackson once he was transferred from Nashik.
Krishnaji Karve, Vinayak Deshpande, and Kanhere decided to eliminate Jackson before his transfer. A farewell ceremony was arranged for Jackson in the Vijayanand theatre. A famous Marathi drama Sharada was staged to mark the occasion on December 21, 1909. The plan was made to execute this novel deed. Two browning pistols sent by Veer Savarkar from London were to be used here. Kanhere decided to kill Jackson and then poison himself to avoid capture and save his other partners. If Kanhere’s attempt was unsuccessful then Deshpande would shoot Jackson as a backup plan. Karve was also carrying a weapon in case either of these failed.
“In the people’s court, the penalty for treating Hindu people as worthless is death, and I did the honourable deed of handing Jackson such a punishment. I want to convey to the populace that such perpetrators should receive the harshest punishment possible in court “ —Martyr Anant Lakshman Kanhere
When Jackson arrived to see the play on December 21, 1909, Kanhere jumped in front of him and fired four shots from a Browning pistol at him. Jackson died right away. Palshikar, one of the Indian officers, and Marutrao Toradmal, a former DSP, attacked Kanhere with their batons. Kanhere was caught by other people present, and neither he nor the poison could kill him. From him, it was discovered that Karve had written a piece of paper titled “Murder for Murder.” He bravely and calmly stood there. “I carried out this auspicious act to take revenge for the oppression of Hindus by the British,” he told the officers. Jackson, the oppressor, was executed by me. I have no desire to flee.
Judgement In Jackson’s Case
“I carried out this act on my own without anyone’s help or guidance,” Anantrao stated in his testimony. He told the police that he had bought a pistol from an Arabian trader, but he didn’t tell them anything about his friends. He took every precaution to ensure that no one would be caught in the case, but the coward Ganu Vaidya and Dattu Joshi turned into amnesty witnesses. Consequently, Krushnaji Gopal Karve, Vinayak Narayan Deshpande, Shankarrao Soman, Wamanrao Joshi, and Ganu Vaidya were all taken into custody by the police. To learn more about the plot, all of these young people were held in the Sarkarwada and subjected to cruel treatment. Alikhan, known for his abusive behaviour, led the police team that tortured people. Guider, a police officer, was looking into this situation. He went to England to look into Veer Savarkar.
Refusing Family’s Request
Vinayak Deshpande, Karve, and Anant Kanhere were all found guilty and given the death penalty. Ganu Vaidya and Dattu Joshi were given two years in prison, but their sentences were commuted because they became witnesses for amnesty. These three young men were sent to the gallows in Thane Jail at 7 am on April 19, 1910. They seemed very brave and calm. People were prevented from even attending their final rites by the Government. The British Government did not comply with their family’s request. They cremated their bodies at Thane Creek and dumped their ashes in the ocean, preventing the family from receiving them. Anant Kanhere gave his life to Swaraj when he was just 18-years-old.