Mahadev Govind Ranade
|Born||18 January 1842|
|Died||16 January 1901(aged 58)|
|Alma mater||University of Bombay|
|Occupation||Scholar, social reformer, author|
|Known for||Co-founder of Indian National Congress|
|Political party||Indian National Congress|
Mahadev Govind Ranade (18 January 1842 – 16 January 1901) was an Indian scholar, social reformer, judge and author. He was one of the founding member of the Indian National Congress party and owned several designations as member of the Bombay legislative council, member of the finance committee at the centre, and judge of the Bombay High Court, Maharashtra.
As a well known public figure, his personality as a calm and patient optimist influenced his attitude towards dealings with Britain as well as reform in India. During his life he helped to establish the Vaktruttvottejak Sabha, the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha and the Prarthana Samaj, and edited a Bombay Anglo-Marathi daily paper, the Induprakash, founded on his ideology of social and religious reform.
Mahadev Govind Ranade was born into a Chitpavan Brahmin family in Niphad, a taluka town in Nashik district. He studied in a Marathi school in Kolhapur and later shifted to an English-medium school. At age 14, he went to study at Elphinstone College, Bombay. He belonged to the first batch of students at the University of Bombay. He obtained a BA degree in 1862 and four years later, obtained his LLB. Upon the death of his first wife, his reform-minded friends expected him to marry (and thereby rescue) a widow. However, he adhered to his family's wishes and married a child bride from the Kurlekar family, Ramabai Ranade, whom he subsequently provided with an education. After his death, she continued social and educational reform work. The couple had no children.
Ranade was a visionary who summarised the mission of the Indian social reform movement as to "Humanize, Equalize and Spiritualize". He campaigned against the 'purdah' system (keeping women behind the veil).He was a founder of the Social Conference movement, which he supported till his death, directing his social reform efforts against child marriage, the shaving of widows' heads, the heavy cost of marriages and other social functions, and the caste restrictions on traveling abroad, and he strenuously advocated widow remarriage and female education. He was one of the founders of the Widow Marriage Association in 1861. Though Ranade criticised superstitions and blind faith, he was conservative in his own life. He chose to take prayaschitta (religious penance) in the Panch-houd Mission Case rather than insisting on his opinions.
In 1885 Ranade, Vaman Abaji Modak, and historian Dr. R. G. Bhandarkar established the Maharashtra Girls Education Society and Huzurpaga, the oldest girls' high school in Maharashtra. proof
A television series on Zee Marathi named Unch Maaza Zoka (roughly translated as 'I have leapt high in Life') based on Ramabai's and Mahadevrao's life and their development as a 'women's rights' activist was broadcast in March 2012. It was based on a book by Ramabai Ranade titled Amachyaa Aayushyaatil Kaahi Aathavani. In the book, Justice Ranade is called "Madhav" rather than Mahadev[note 1].
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