A human rights activist and follower of non-violence, Vinova Narahari Bhave was born on September 11, 1895, into a Brahman family in Gagoji village (present-day Gagode Budruk) in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. Also known as Acharya, Bhave is best known for his work on Bhoodan Movement. According to the Brittanica, Bhave left his high school studies mid-way to join Gandhi’s ashram at Sabarmati. Although the satyagrahi was a scholar, thinker, and writer who has many books to his name. Apart from writing books, he was also a translator of the Sanskrit texts.
He also happened to be a great orator and linguist with a command in multiple languages like, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati, Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit and English. According to him the Kannada script is the "Queen of World Scripts". He has also worked on views of great Marathi saint and philosopher, Sant Dnyaneshwar's poetry and other Marathi saints.
Along with Mahatma Gandhi, Bhave participated in the Indian freedom struggle and stayed at Gandhi's Sabarmati ashram for a while. There he stayed in a cottage which was eventually was named after him to 'Vinoba Kutir'. There he transcribed texts from the Bhagavad Gita to Marathi and then used to recite to members at ashrams. His works were later published in book form, as Talks on the Gita, and it has been translated into multiple languages.
Mahatma Gandhi chose Bhave to be the first individual Satyagrahi against the British rule. As per the reports, Gandhi envied and respected Bhave's celibacy, a vow he made in his adolescence, in fitting with his belief in the principle of Brahmacharya. Bhave also participated in the Quit India Movement.
Bhoodan Movement or Land Gift movement
The Land Gift movement was a voluntary land reform movement started by Bhave in the year 1951. The idea for this movement came to Bhave while he was touring villages in the state of Andhra Pradesh, there a landholder offered him an acreage in response to his appeal on behalf of a group of landless Dalits. He then walked from village to village, appealing for gifts of land to be distributed among the landless workers. According to Bhave, land reform should be secured by a change of heart and not by enforced government action.
Bharat Ratna Awardee
Bhave was conferred with the highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna posthumously in 1983 for his selfless services to the nation. In 1958 he also won the first Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership.
Bhave died on 15 November 1982 after refusing food and medicine for a few days by accepting "Samadhi Maran" / "Santhara" according to Jainism.