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About Mahadev Govind Ranade in English

One of the well-known reformists and freedom fighter of India, Mahadev Govind Ranade was born in 1842 at Biphad in Nasik, Maharashtra. Known...

Mahadev Govind Ranade

One of the well-known reformists and freedom fighter of India, Mahadev Govind Ranade was born in 1842 at Biphad in Nasik, Maharashtra. Known to be the mentor and political guru of famous freedom fighters Gopal Krishna Gokhale, and Bal Gangadhar Tilak, he himself was deeply involved in the freedom struggle of India.

At the age of six, he attended a Marathi school in Kolhapur and was later transferred to an English school in 1851. When he was 14, his father sent him to study in the Elphinstone College, Bombay.

He belonged to the very first batch of students in Bombay University. He acquired the B.A. degree in the year 1862 and then obtained L.L.B. from the Government Law School in 1866. He achieved distinctions in all his degree courses and remained a scholarship holder almost throughout his academic career.

Ranade was a social reformer who also believed in ancient customs. He said that the social reforms should be introduced in such a way that no violence is done to the ancient customs and traditions. His method of attaining freedom was unique, he used to say that if we want to get political freedom then we should free ourselves from the defects which lie within us. He was against caste system, untouchability and was a strong supporter of widow-remarriage. He believed in the emancipation of woman.

This social reformer along with friends Dr. Atmaram Pandurang, Bal Mangesh Wagle and Yaman Abaji Modak founded the Prarthana Samaj, a Hindu movement involved in social development. He also founded Poona Sarvajanik Sabha and was one of the founders of the Indian National Congress.

After passing the LL.B. examination in 1864, he was appointed as the Third Presidency Magistrate, Fourth Judge of the Small Causes Court and Acting First Class Grade Judge at Poona.

He co-founded the ‘Prarthana Samaj’ with his friends Atmaram Pandurang, Bal Mangesh Wagle and Vaman Abaji Modak, to propagate theism based on the holy Vedas. He was also the founder of the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha and Ahmednagar Education Society.

He was instrumental in the establishment of the Social Conference movement, which worked against child marriages, the shaving of widows' heads, and spending heavily in marriages and other social functions.

He also published books on Indian economics and on Maratha history which includes ‘Rise of the Maratha Power' (1900).

In 1893 he was appointed a Judge of the Bombay High Court, a position which he held until his death. This reformer, freedom fighter and lover of justice passed away on January 17, 1901.

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