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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Babasaheb Purandare, Padma Vibhushan awardee, dies at 99

Babasaheb Purandare, a celebrated author and theatre personality, was known for his work on the history of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: November 15, 2021 11:09:07 am
Babasaheb Purandare deadBabasaheb Purandare death: Family members and loved ones pay tributes to the mortal remains of Babasaheb Purandare in Pune on Monday. (Express Photo: Pavan Khengre)

Babasaheb Purandare, eminent historian and author who was admitted to Pune’s Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital on Saturday, passed away this morning, doctors confirmed. He was 99.

“He passed at about 5.07 am due to ailments associated with old age and pneumonitis. He was on ventilator support since last evening,” Dr Dhananjay Kelkar, the medical director of the hospital, said. His mortal remains were shifted to his residence in Parvati area where loved ones and admirers are paying their last respects. The last rites are to be performed at the Vaikunth Crematorium at 10 am.

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

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, in his condolence message to the Purandare family, said that the death was a great loss to the cultural world of Maharashtra. “He had great affinity to the history of Maharashtra and its forts. He brought history of the state alive through his writings, talks, and plays like Jaanta Raja. With his passing, an important witness in Maharashtra’s long journey has been lost. I join in grief with the family,” Pawar added.

Purandare, a celebrated author and theatre personality, was known for his work on the history of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He has written several books on Shivaji, his style of administration, as well as the forts from the era. He had also directed “Jaanta Raja”, a popular play on Chhatrapati’s life and leadership.

Raj Thackeray pays homage to Babasaheb Purandare at his residence in Pune on Monday. (Express Photo: Pavan Khengre)

Born on July 29, 1922, at Balwant Moreshwar Purandare in Saswad, Pune district, Purandare started writing about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj from an early age, creating stories and essays about the Maratha king.

In his prolific writing career, Purandare wrote several books, including a two-volume biography of the king “Raje Shivchhatrapati”. His other prominent publications include “Maharaj”, “Shelar Khind”, “Gadkot Kille”, “Agra”, “Lal Mahal”, “Purandar”, “Rajgad”, “Panhalgad”, “Sinhagad”, “Pratapgad”, “Fulwanti”, “Purandaryanchi Daulat”, “Mujaryache Mankari”, “Savitri” and “Kalawantinicha Sajja”.

He often toured the state delivering lectures on Shivaji. In 1985, he wrote and directed the play ‘Jaanta Raja’, which involved over 200 artistes, and several horses and elephants. The play was translated in several languages and was performed even outside the state in Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and the US.

His wife Nirmala Purandare, an activist and educationist, had passed away in July 2019. He is survived by his two sons — Amrut and Prasad — and daughter Madhuri.

In 2015, the state government had awarded the Maharashtra Bhushan award to Purandare.  He was also the recipient of the country’s second highest civilian honour — the Padma Vibhushan — in 2019.

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