Acharya Vinoba Bhave 

#GS1 #History #FreedomFighters #SocialReformers 

On 11 September 1895, Vinoba Bhave was born in Gagode village, Raigad, Maharashtra. A keen follower of Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave took part in the freedom struggle and started the Bhoodan movement in 1951. He was an avid social reformer throughout his life. 

About Vinoba Bhave 

  • A report in the newspapers about Gandhi’s speech at the newly founded Benaras Hindu University attracted Bhave’s attention. In 1916, on his way to Mumbai to appear for the intermediate examination, Bhave threw his school and college certificates into a fire. 
  • Bhave took the decision after reading the piece of writing in the newspaper written by Mahatma Gandhi. He wrote a letter to Gandhi and after an exchange of letters, Gandhi advised Bhave to come for a personal meeting at Kochrab Ashram in Ahmedabad. 
  • Bhave met Gandhi on 7 June 1916 and subsequently abandoned his studies. 
  • Bhave participated with keen interest in the activities at Gandhi’s ashram, like teaching, studying, spinning and improving the life of the community. 
  • His involvement with Gandhi’s constructive programmes related to Khadi, village industries, new education (Nai Talim), sanitation and hygiene also kept on increasing. 
  • Bhave went to Wardha on 8 April 1921 to take charge of the Ashram as desired by Gandhi. 
  • Bhave was arrested several times during the 1920s and 1930s and served a five-year jail sentence in the 1940s for leading non-violent resistance to British rule. He wrote Ishavasyavritti and Sthitaprajna Darshan in jail. 
  • He was associated with Mahatma Gandhi in the Indian independence movement. He stayed for some time at Gandhi’s Sabarmati ashram in a cottage that was named after him, ‘Vinoba Kutir’. There he gave a series of talks on the Gita, in his native language Marathi, to his fellows. 
  • These highly inspiring talks were later published as the book “Talks on the Gita”, and it has been translated into many languages both in India and elsewhere. 
  • In 1940 he was chosen by Gandhi to be the first individual Satyagrahi against the British rule. It is said that Gandhi envied and respected Bhave’s celibacy, a vow he made in his adolescence, in fitting with his belief in the Brahmacharya principle. Bhave also participated in the Quit India Movement. 


Bhoodan – Gramdan 

  • Vinoba Bhave undertook padyatra to spread Gandhiji’s message covered almost the entire country. 
  • Once, when he was delivering a lecture at Pochampalli in Andhra Pradesh, some poor landless villagers demanded some land for their economic well-being. 
  • Vinoba Bhave could not promise it to them immediately but assured them to talk to the Government of India regarding provision of land for them if they undertook cooperative farming. 
  • Suddenly, Shri Ram Chandra Reddy stood up and offered 80 acres of land to be distributed among 80 lands-less villagers. 
  • This act was known as ‘Bhoodan’. 
  • Later he travelled and introduced his ideas widely all over India. 
  • Some zamindars, owners of many villages offered to distribute some villages among the landless. It was known as Gramdan. 
  • However, many land-owners chose to provide some part of their land to the poor farmers due to the fear of land ceiling act. 
  • This Bhoodan-Gramdan movement initiated by Vinoba Bhave is also known as the Blood-less Revolution. 
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