Shriram’s Jatar’s last Will and Testament

This is Shriram Bhikaji Jatar’s Will. It was the 1800’s but our great grand-father (for some, their great-great-grandfather) made a Will. This is telling, considering that many people today in the 21st century don’t bother to do it.

Shriram wrote this when he was unwell, the year before he died at the age of 60 or 61. The five salient points from the Will are:

  1. Shriram Jatar was a self-made man. He willed only what he had earned himself. He got nothing from his father.
  2. He acquired real estate and also shares and promissory notes.
  3. In his Will he returned money which had been kept in his safe-keeping by his half-brother, and he returned it with interest. This speaks to the high integrity of this man.
  4. Everything in the Will is clear, including the liabilities. This made it simple for his heirs.
  5. He made provisions for his daughter who was unmarried at the time.

The actual Will is reproduced here in image form. Continue reading “Shriram’s Jatar’s last Will and Testament”

The Shriram Wada

The Shriram Wada, a sprawling structure in the heart of Pune city, was bought by Shriram Bhikaji Jatar (SBJ) around 1890 on his retirement. It was bought from his own earnings. He did not receive any property from his father (Bhikaji). Shriram Jatar left this property to his sons and in the year 1927 approximately, Bapurao bought it from his brothers (a value of ₹20,000/- was placed on the Wada) after selling a property in Nagpur (documentation available with me.) After Bapurao’s death (1951), the Shriram Wada was sold.

It is a huge Wada with 3 floors and numerous rooms. It has entrances on two sides, as it straddles two lanes in Narayan Peth. There is a water well at the back. There used to be a cowshed with 3 or 4 buffaloes. The main entrance used to be from the north, but now it has been changed to the south. It used to be number 340, Narayan Peth, but now the number has changed to 387/388.

Lokmanya Tilak was a tenant here and the Wada has become known for this now.

Here are the photographs of the Wada. The front entrance has a board of the Continue reading “The Shriram Wada”

Shriram and Damodar Jatar

By Brig. R.V Jatar.

My Grandfather Shriram Bhikaji (1839-1899) and his younger brother Damodar ran away from their home in Wai to Pune, not being happy with the way they were treated by their stepmother. Both Shriram and Damodar were some of the earliest graduates (B.A). Damodar did his BA in Elphinstone College in 1865.

His younger brother Damodar (real, not half brother) was brilliant, and passed BA in First-Class. He joined Govt High School, Satara, and became the Head Master.

            Shriram Jatar

Shriram was steady and solid whereas Damodar was brilliant but erratic. Both took to the education field.

Shriram joined the CP and Berar Education Department and rose gradually to become the Director of Public Instruction of CP and Berar. The British Director was being paid Rs 1000/- per month but this sum was denied to Baba (Shriram). Shriram protested by moving to Pune and staying on till he was paid the desired amount. He was paid the amount after a year or so and Shriram took up the post.

That was the era when the British were very eager to spread knowledge of the English language. Shriram did excellent work and his name was even mentioned in the British Parliament. It is thanks to people like Shriram Jatar that the English language has taken roots all over India. English is the reason why our country enjoys an advantage in the computer era over countries like China.

Damodar was the Headmaster of Satara High School. He was said to be addicted to liquor, which cast a shadow on his brilliance.

(Family History as learnt from Brig. Jatar’s father Abasaheb and even more so from Appasaheb’s diary in his possession.)

Shriram Jatar Family Tree

This is the Family tree of the oldest, senior Jatars:

Senior Jatars Tree

The Jatar ancestors before Shriram Jatar can be seen here on an older family tree.

Here is more information on Kashinath (Bapurao), Rangnath (Balasaheb), Nilkanth (Bhausaheb).

(This tree was prepared by Brig. Raghunath Jatar)

Hand-writing sample of Shriram Bhikaji Jatar

This is a letter written by Shriram Bhikaji Jatar more than a hundred years ago, from Akola. He was a grandfather to those of Jatar origin who are in their seventies and eighties today and a great-grandfather to those who are of the next generation.  You can perhaps read something of his personality from his hand-writing. It’s not entirely decipherable though!

(Photocopy of letter provided by Gen. S.C.N Jatar (Sudhir)


Jankibai, Yamutai Dev before marriage was married to Shriram Bhikaji Jatar, the patriarch of our branch of the Jatar family. Jankibai, popularly known as Aaisaheb belonged to the Dev family of Poona. Her brother Rambhaumama was our family’s religious advisor and astrologer, much respected by Bapurao and the entire family. His two sons Ganpatrao and Gajananrao were also popular figures in the family. The date or year of birth and even the marriage date of Aaisaheb are not known. She was not educated beyond primary school but she was a pillar of strength to her husband. She was mature, wise, kind hearted and yet strong willed, with a religious bent of mind.

There was a poem written on her by a family member which was given in a newspaper. Here it is:

A brief life-sketch of Shriram Bhikaji Jatar, CIE

Shriram Jatar
By Brig. RV (Raghunath) Jatar

Shriram Bhikaji Jatar was born in Wai on 18 December 1838. His father Bhikaji Vishnu Jatar had married thrice. His first wife passed away childless. Shriram and his brother Damodar were from the second wife. On her demise, he married for the third time. Shambhu, Ramkrishna and Sadashiv were from the third wife. There is no record of any sisters of Shriram.

After completing schooling at Wai, and obtaining a scholarship, Shriram went to Pune for higher education. It appears that Shriram and Damodar were not very happy at Wai owing to stepmother’s pressure and left the house. After a few years, their father Bhikaji returned to settle down with family at our ancestor’s village Kanhe near Chiplun in the Konkan.

Shriram and Damodar both completed BA from Elphinstone College, Damodar securing a first-class in 1861. Shriram Bhikaji was the first graduate of the College and got a scholarship of Rs 5/-. Later he got a prize of Rs 51/- for Marathi translation of Thomas Gray’s ” Elegy in the Country Churchyard .” Here is a link to a Mumbai University calendar of 1865-65 which has a mention of Shriram Bhikaji Jatar. Apparently, he was a Law student and passed the first and intermediate law exams but did not complete his Law degree.

Shriram had a job as a translator exhibitioner and completed his BA while holding the job. Both had jobs in the Education Department. Shriram in Poona High School, then located in Vishram Baug Wada and Damodar in Satara High School, Satara where he rose to be the Head Master.

In 1866, the government-appointed Shriram as Deputy Education Inspector in CP & Berar. In 1868, when as Education Inspector in CP & Berar, he drew a salary of Rs. 200/- pm. In 1871, his superiors acclaimed his work of writing school textbooks in ‘modi’. In 1873, when the Department promoted him as the Headmaster of Amraoti High School, there were 37 students in the school and the average attendance was 27. Within one year of his appointment as Head Master, the school had 84 students with an average attendance of 66. The then Director of Public Instruction, Rao Bahadur Narayan Dandekar was full of praise for the annual report of the school given by Shriram Bhikaji Jatar. A letter written by an English senior officer Mr Lee Warner to Shriram, extracted below, is revealing:

“I may, however, express the pleasure which it has given me to make your personal acquaintance because I have found you invariably to be free from those faults, which, often and not without reason, are ascribed to an educated Native. In short, I may say that I believe you to be a thorough gentleman and incapable of doing a dishonourable act.”

Shriram’s quality of expressing his opinions freely without fear of offending the seniors endeared him to the English officialdom. Shriram rose rapidly in his profession until he became Director of Public Instruction of CP & Berar in 1884. The government conferred the title of Rao Bahadur in 1888 and the Companion of the Indian Empire (CIE) in 1894. A book called “The golden book of India: a genealogical and biographical dictionary of the ruling princes, chiefs, nobles, and other personages, titled or decorated of the Indian Empire” has a reference to this respected title. It mentions that Shriram got this title on the 1st of June 1888 in Akola, Berar.

He retired from service in 1894. Lord Kimberley applauded his work in the British Parliament.

Shriram had to struggle for seven years for not being paid the salary of Rs. 1000/-, which his English predecessor was receiving. He settled in “Shriram”, 388 Narayan Peth, Pune 411 030, which he had purchased earlier. On retirement, Shriram busied himself with social activities. He was one of the founder members of Deccan Vernacular Translation Society along with Justice M. G. Ranade and Sir Ramakrishna Bhandarkar. Shriram also stood for election as municipal councillor against Lokmanya Tilak, who incidentally was his tenant in “Shriram”, but lost quite badly.

Shriram had good relations with his brother and half-brothers. Dr Sadashiv remained a bachelor, migrated to England and practised medicine in Manchester or Liverpool for nearly 25 years. On his death, his estate was willed to Bapurao who utilised the proceeds to send his son Baburao (Shantaram) to England for higher medical studies.

Shriram died on 13 December 1899. None of us knows much about his personal characteristics except that he was a steady and sober family man, very successful in his chosen career. Shriram and his wife Janaki (nee Deo) raised a family of four sons and three daughters as shown in the family tree. The newspaper obituary below speaks for itself.


Uploaded from draft by Brig. (Retd) R. V. Jatar and inputs from Nita Jatar Kulkarni.