July 11, 2018

The Assassination on Ganeshkhind Road

Pics found online : the stamp featuring Damodar Hari Chapekar,
an old Raphael Tuck pic of Ganeshkhind road, and Govt House
The Indian revolutionary Damodar Hari Chapekar, one of those responsible for shooting Rand, Pune's plague commissioner, & his military escort, has been honoured in a recently-issued postal stamp. The assassination took place in 1897 on Ganeshkhind road after Rand had outraged the local people with his methods.

Ganeshkhind road was once a tree-lined avenue, as it remained even 30 years ago. When Rand was killed, he was heading to the nearby Governor's house, which has become the main building in the university, for a celebration.

After Independence, there were plans to turn the Governor's summer residence into a deer park but a proposal to have it be a university ultimately prevailed. At some point, a large fountain with light turquoise tiles was constructed at the entrance to the university at one end of Ganeshkhind road. People would gather in the evenings: children playing in the pool and street vendors selling snacks nearby.

The fountain has now made way for a workaday flyover though, on the road where the assassination took place, there still stands a memorial to the Chapekar brothers who are respected to this day.