Gopal Ganesh Agarkar was an Indian social reformer, educationist, and thinker from Maharashtra, India.
Agarkar was co-founder of various educational institutes such as the New English School, the Deccan Education Society, and Fergusson College with Tilak, Vishnushastri Chiplunkar, Mahadev Ballal Namjoshi, V. S. Apte, V. B. Kelkar, M. S. Gole, and N. K. Dharap.
Agarkar was the first editor of the weekly Kesari. He was the founder and editor of a periodical, Sudharak. He was the second Principal of Fergusson College and served that post from August-1892 until his death.
Early Life of Gopal Ganesh Agarkar
Gopal Ganesh Agarkar was born on 14 July 1856 in Tembhu, a village in Karad taluk, Satara district, Maharashtra. He was a friend of Nilkanth Tidke.
Agarkar was schooled in Karad and then worked as a clerk in a court there. In 1878, he got his B. A. degree, and in 1880 was awarded an M.A.
Gopal Ganesh Agarkar and Bal Gangadhar Tilak
He first met Tilak at the Deccan College where they were classmates. The Tilak-Agarkar duo set up a series of educational institutions to promote education and social reform and provoke patriotism among the masses.
He was the first editor of Kesari, a leading Marathi-language weekly newspaper founded by Lokmanya Tilak in 1880-81.
Ideological diversity with Tilak made him later leave. They disagreed on the power of political reform versus social reform, with Agarkar believing that the need for social reform was more urgent.
Social Reforms and Social Reforms
Agarkar started his periodical, Sudharak, in which he battled against the evils of untouchability and the caste system.
Agarkar hated blind adherence to and glorification of tradition and the past. He supported widow remarriage. From 1892 to 1895, he was the Principal of Ferguson college.
Agarkar suffered from severe asthma his entire life and succumbed to it on 17 June 1895.
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