Babasaheb Purandare, historian and Padma Vibhushan awardee, passes away at 99

Padma Vibhushan awardee Babasaheb Purandare was an Indian writer, theatre personality, and historian from Maharashtra. His works are mostly based on the events that are related to the life of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the 17th-century founder of the Maratha Empire.

Babasaheb Purandare passes away
Babasaheb Purandare passes away

Notable author, historian, and Padma Vibhushan awardee Babasaheb Purandare passed away on November 15, 2021, at Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital of Pune, Maharashtra. In 2019, Babasaheb Purandare was honoured with Padma Vibhushan. He was a celebrated author and a historian and was known for his work on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Notably, Prime Minister Modi in August 2021 had attended a function to mark Babasaheb Purandare entering the 100th year of his life. The Prime Minister had also recalled Babasaheb Purandare’s contributions from the Goa Mukti Sangram to the Dada Nagar Haveli freedom struggle.

On the demise of Babasaheb Purandare, PM Modi expressed his grief via a series of tweets. He wrote, “I am pained beyond words. The demise of Shivshahir Babasaheb Purandare leaves a major void in the world of history and culture. It is thanks to him that the coming generations will get further connected to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. His other works will also be remembered.”

In another tweet, Prime Minister Modi said, “Shivshahir Babasaheb Purandare will live due to his extensive works. In this sad hour, my thoughts are with his family and countless admirers. Om Shanti.”

Babasaheb Purandare: Notable writings, play and contribution to Shiv Sena Party

Babasaheb Purandare was an Indian writer, theatre personality, and historian from Maharashtra.

Purandare’s works are mostly based on the events that are related to the life of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the 17th-century founder of the Maratha Empire.

Babasaheb Purandare was mostly known for his popular play ‘Jaanata Raja’ which became popular not only in Maharashtra but also in Goa and Andhra Pradesh.

The notable historian Purandare also wrote several books on Chhatrapati Shivaji, his administration, and the forts from the King’s era. His other works also include books titled Raja Shiva-Chatrapati and Kesari, and a book on the life of Narayanrao Peshwa.

Purandare was also known for his significant contribution along with Madhav Mehere & Madhav Deshpande as senior party leaders in the early 1970s of Shiv Sena along with Balasaheb Thackeray.

Babasaheb Purandare’s ‘Jaanata Raja’ Play

The most well-known of Purandare’s works is the drama, Jaanata Raja. It was a widely popular play on Shivaji which was published and first staged in 1985.

Since then, the drama has been staged over 1000 times in 16 districts of Maharashtra, Delhi, Agra, Bhopal as well as the United States. The play was originally written in Marathi and was later translated into Hindi.

‘Jaanata Raja’ has been performed by over 200 artists, as well as the camels, elephants, and horses. Generally, the performance of this drama begins around Diwali every year.

Babasaheb Purandare Awards & Honours

1. On January 25, 2019, Babasaheb Purandare was awarded Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian award.

2. In 2015, Babasaheb Purandare was awarded with Maharashtra Bhushan Award. It is Maharashtra’s highest Civilian Award.

3. For his works, in the field of drama, Purandare was awarded the Kalidas Samman by the Government of Madhya Pradesh for the year 2007-2008.

Personal Life

Babasaheb Purandare’s wife Nirmala Purandare was a veteran social activist who founded Vanasthali Organisation in Pune. Nirmala Purandare was known for working amongst rural women and in the area of child development.

Babasaheb Purandare has a daughter and two sons and all of them are active in Marathi literary field. His daughter is a renowned singer, writer, and painter.

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