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Dadoba Pandurang – Social Reformer

Dadoba Pandurang (Tarkhadkar) was a social reformer, writer, and linguist from Bombay. He was a fellow of the University of Bombay.

Dadoba Pandurang (Tarkhadkar) was a social reformer, writer, and linguist from Bombay. He earned the title of Rao Bahadur. He was a fellow of the University of Bombay. His brother Atmaram Pandurang, a social reformer and physician, founded the Prarthana Samaj.

Early Life

Pandurangdoba was born with the surname Tarkhadkar in the Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu family. However, he never used it in later life. He wrote considerably on religion and social reform as an opponent of rituals and caste and supported widow-remarriage and education for women. 

He had three daughters named Durga, Manik, and Annapurna. Annapurna, also known as Anna, was the first girl in Maharashtra who went foreign to study.

Education of Dadoba Pandurang

Dadoba Pandurang studied at a local school for four years before going to private high school followed by studies at the Bombay Native School and Book Society. 

Pandurang received West Scholarship and studied at what became the Elphinstone and he learned several languages including Portuguese, Persian, and Sanskrit.

Career of Dadoba Pandurang

In 1830, he became a school teacher and in 1840 he moved to Surat. Henry Green was headmaster of that school in Surat and was a noted agnostic and free thinker who influenced Pandurang. 

From 1846 he served as acting superintendent of vernacular schools and in 1852 he was selected for the post of Deputy Collector and Magistrate at Ahmednagar. 

In 1858, he moved to Thana in 1861 he retired due to troubles with superiors. Pandurang’s major contribution was the grammar of Marathi. Maharastra Bhasheche Vyakaran was published in 1836 that went into seven editions during his lifetime. He also published a supplement in 1881.

Pandurang taught Sanskrit briefly at the Sir Jamshedjee Jeejeebhoy Zarthosti Madresa in 1871. In 1848, he founded and presided over the Upayukta Jnanprasarak Sabha, a students’ literary and scientific society which met to discuss various topics every alternate Thursday.

Dadoba Pandurang’s Works

Other publications included 

  • Yashoda Pandurangi (1865)
  • Dharam Vivechan (1868)
  • Paramhamsik Bramhadharma (1880)
  • A Hindu Gentleman’s Reflections respecting the works of Swedenborg (1878)
  • The absurdity of the Holi Festival as it is now practiced by the Hindus (1829)
  • Shishubodh (posthumously published in 1884) 
  • Vidhavasrumarjan (1857)

He wrote Dharam Vivechan under the pen-name of Ek Jagadwasi Arya.

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