Modern Indian History-Events and Personalities

Who was Kakasaheb Gadgil?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Kakasaheb Gadgil

Mains level : Not Much

The Gadgil Wada of Pune was recently lighted into tricolour for the 75th anniversary of Independence.

Gadgil Wada was where plans for the reconstitution of the socialist Rashtra Seva Dal took place in early 1940s, with socialists like S.M. Joshi, N.G. Gore, Shirubhau Limaye and Kakasaheb in the lead.

Kakasaheb Gadgil

  • Gadgil was an Indian freedom fighter and politician from Maharashtra, India.
  • He was also a writer. He wrote in both Marathi and English.
  • Gadgil graduated from Fergusson College in Pune in 1918, and obtained a degree in Law in 1920.
  • In India’s pre-independence days, freedom fighters Lokmanya Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Vallabhbhai Patel influenced Gadgil.
  • He joined the Indian National Congress in 1920, immediately after obtaining his law degree and started his active participation in the national freedom movement.
  • He suffered imprisonment from the ruling British government eight times for the participation.

Notable work during freedom struggle

  • In India’s pre-independence days, Gadgil served as the secretary of Poona District Congress Committee (1921–25), the president of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (1937–45).
  • He was elected to the central Legislative Assembly in 1934.
  • Gadgil was a pioneer in social reform movements in Maharashtra in the 1930s.
  • During the Civil Disobedience Movement, which began in 1930, Gadgil was listed as a leader for the Maharashtra Civil Disobedience Committee and the Pune War Council.
  • He was associated with several public associations and institutions, including Sarvajanik Sabha, Pune; Young Men’s Association, Pune; Maharashtra Youth League, Bombay; Pune Central Cooperative Bank; and Pune Municipality.

Service after India’s independence

  • Between 1947 and 1952 Gadgil served as a minister in the first central cabinet of independent India.
  • He held the portfolios of Public Works, and Mines and Power.
  • In his first year in the central Cabinet, he initiated the project of building a military-caliber road from Pathankot to Srinagar via Jammu in Kashmir as a part of India’s activities in the 1947 Indo-Pakistan War.
  • As a cabinet minister, he also initiated the important development projects pertaining to Bhakra, Koyna, and Hirakund dams.
  • He was a member of the Congress Working Committee from 1952 to 1955.
  • His son Vitthalrao Gadgil was a veteran congressman and MP from Pune Lok Sabha constituency, and his grandson Anant Gadgil is currently spokesman for Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee.


  • Gadgil wrote several books and articles on politics, economics, law, and history.
  • The following are some of Gadgil’s books:
  1. Pathik (autobiography)
  2. Rajya Shastra Wichar
  3. Shubha Shastra
  4. Waktrutwa Shastra
  5. Gyanbache Arthashastra
  6. Government from Inside
  7. Shikhancha Itihaas (history of Sikhs)


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