Mumbai: In loving memory of beloved freedom fighter Kaka Baptista

Published: Sep 19, 2018, 16:36 IST | mid-day online desk | Mumbai

The Mumbai Gaothan Panchayat paid respects to Kaka Baptista on his 88th death anniversary by ensuring that the community didn't forget the noted East Indian's contribution to India's freedom struggle

Mobai Gaothan Parishad's team at the Sewri Cemetery of the late freedom fighter Kaka Baptista
Mobai Gaothan Parishad's team at the Sewri Cemetery of the late freedom fighter Kaka Baptista

As the city celebrated the sixth day of Ganeshotsav with full gusto yesterday, Mumbai's East Indian community remembered the man who, together with Lokmanya Tilak, started it all. Joseph Baptista fondly called as Kaka Baptista is said to have coined the phrase "Swaraj is my birthright", which was later made popular by freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak. Baptista even assisted Tilak by launching the Sarvajanik Ganpati (public Ganpati celebrations). He played an active role in the Home Rule Movement along with Lokmanya Tilak and Dr. Annie Besant.

The Mumbai Gaothan Panchayat paid respects to Kaka Baptista on his 88th death anniversary by ensuring that the community didn't forget the noted East Indian's contribution to India's freedom struggle. The MGP team, along with local representatives, visited Baptista's grave in Sewri Cemetery, and later assembled at his bust at Boot Bangla in Uttan.

Kaka Baptista
Kaka Baptista's bust

There, Leo Colaco, president of Maharashtra Machimar Federation and member of World Fishermen Forum for People, announced his plans to work towards renaming the Judicial Academy at Dharavi Beth Island after Kaka Baptista.

Kaka Baptista was born on March 17, 1864, at Matharpacady, Mazgaon. He was the first mayor of Bombay (1925-1926) and before that, worked with the BMC for 17 years from the year 1901. 

Baptista was born in the East Indian village of Matharpacady, Mazgaon. An active participant in the city’s governance, Kaka was the mayor during 1925-1926. He was the first mayor of Bombay. He worked with Tilak and Annie Besant in the Home Rule Movement, established in 1916 to achieve self-rule from the colonial government.

Kaka MGP

Kaka Baptista died in 1930 and is buried at the cemetery in Sewri. The garden on a hilltop reservoir in Mazgaon is named after him. Uttan, near Mumbai, which is claimed as his ancestral village, has erected a bust in his honour and the East Indian museum at Manori is named after him.

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