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Prabodhankar Thackeray Biography

Keshav Sitaram Thackeray (17 September 1885 – 20 November 1973); born Keshav Sitaram Panvelkar; also known as Keshav Sitaram Thakre and Keshav Sitaram Dhodapkar; commonly known by his pen name Prabodhankar Thackeray, was an Indian social reformer.

He campaigned against superstitions, untouchability, child marriage and dowry. He was also a prolific author.He was one of the key leaders of the Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti which successfully campaigned for the linguistic state of Maharashtra. (Prabodhankar Thackeray Biography)

He was the father of Bal Thackeray, who founded the Shiv Sena, a pro-Marathi Hindu nationalist party leader. (Prabodhankar Thackeray Biography)

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He is also the grandfather of Shiv Sena supremo and current Chief minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray. There is a school in Pune named after him.(Prabodhankar Thackeray Biography)

A 65-year-old man was getting married to a 12-year-old girl called Manju. A grand pandal was erected for the rich and powerful guests.(Prabodhankar Thackeray Biography)


This was the time when Sarda Bill (Child Marriage Restraint Bill) was being discussed in British India Legislature in late 1920s.(Prabodhankar Thackeray Biography)

When the old man was about to garland poor Manju, her teenager friend gate-crashed into the venue in a manner that would eventually be known as ‘Bollywood style’!(Prabodhankar Thackeray Biography)

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Keshav, popularly known as ‘Prabodhankar’ was an eminent social reformer, political activist, author and an editor.(Prabodhankar Thackeray Biography)

Early lifeKeshav Thackeray (born Keshav Panvelkar) was born on 17 September 1885 in Panvel in a family. According to his autobiography Mazhi Jeevangatha, one of his ancestors was a Killedar of the Dhodap fort during the Maratha rule.(Prabodhankar Thackeray Biography)

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His great-grandfather Krushnaji Madhav Dhodapkar (“Appasaheb”) resided in Pali, Raigad, while his grandfather Ramchandra “Bhikoba” Dhodapkar settled in Panvel.

Keshav’s father Sitaram adopted the surname “Panvelkar” as per the tradition, but while admitting his son in the school, he gave him the surname “Thakre”, which was apparently their original traditional family name before “Dhodapkar”.(Prabodhankar Thackeray Biography)

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An admirer of the India-born British writer William Makepeace Thackeray, Keshav later anglicized the spelling of his surname to “Thackeray”.[4][2]When Keshav was still a teenager, his father died in a plague epidemic, in 1902. Keshav was educated at Panvel, Kalyan, Baramati and Bombay (now Mumbai).

Outside the Bombay Presidency, he studied at the Victoria High School in Dewas (Central Provinces), and later, at the Calcutta University. He finally settled in Bombay.(Prabodhankar Thackeray Biography)

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Social and Political activismKeshav Thackeray’s own CKP caste ranked just next to the Brahmins in the caste hierarchy, but he refused to accept this old social hierarchy. He is often described as a social activist or social reformer for his rejection of caste system.(Prabodhankar Thackeray Biography)

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When the prominent Marathi historian VK Rajwade the upper-caste Kshatriya status claimed by the Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu (CKP) caste in a 1916 essay, Thackeray became one of his fiercest critics, and denounced his research as casteist.(Prabodhankar Thackeray Biography)

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He wrote a text outlining the identity of the CKP caste, and its contributions to the Maratha empire. In this text, Gramanyachya Sadhyant Itihas, Thackeray talked about the discrimination suffered by other communities at the hands of the Brahmins during the Maratha rule.

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He was not much concerned about the ritual caste status, but sought to prove that many non-Brahmin communities (specifically the CKPs) had played a major role in the history of the Maratha empire.

Keshav Sitaram Thackeray Biography

He wrote that the CKPs “provided the cement” for Shivaji’s swaraj (self-rule) “with their blood”, and supported him even before the Kshatriyas of Rajput origin joined him.[10] Thackeray also replied to him in the Marathi book Kodandache Tanatkar (1918).

Thackeray was supported in his defence by another writer Keshav Trimbak Gupte who replied to Rajwade in his sanskrit and Marathi book Rajwadyanchi Gagabhatti(1919) in which he produced verbatim the letters written by the Shankaracharya in 1830.

Also Read : Anand Giri Biography in Hindi

formally endorsing the CKPs Kshatriya status by referring to them as Chandraseniya Kshatriyas and letters from Banares Brahmins and Pune Brahmins ratified by Bajirao II himself in 1796 that gave them privilege over the Vedas.

Keshav Sitaram Thackeray Biography

Prabodhankar with his followers would ridicule the social evil of dowry by having a fake marriage procession, wearing entirely black, and following a donkey with a wedding head-band carrying the message, A person taking dowry is going for a marriage.

Some Brahmins sued him for his anti-dowry demonstrations but the British Judge supported him by asking: ‘Why is the police harassing Prabodhankar when he is fighting for a good cause?’

Keshav Thackeray played an important role in the Samyukta Maharashtra movement aimed at establishing the linguistic state of Maharashtra. He joined the movement in 1951, demanding the inclusion of the Dang district in Maharashtra instead of neighbouring Gujarat state.

Keshav Sitaram Thackeray Biography

He was one of the founding members of the Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti, which campaigned for the formation of Maharashtra and the inclusion of Belgaum and Mumbai in it.Literary careerKeshav Thackeray wrote in the Marathi language.

He started a fortnightly magazine named Prabodhan (“Enlighten”), which is the origin of his pen name Prabodhankar.[1] His other Marathi language works include the following:

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Autobiography Mazhi Jeevangatha (“My autobiography”)Historical researchPratapsingh Chhatrapati and Rango BapujiGramanyachya Sadhyant Itihas Arthat Nokarashiche Banda (A Comprehensive History of Rebellion or the Revolt of the Bureaucrats),

published by Yashwant Shivram Raje in 1919, at MumbaiBhikshushahiche BandKodandacha TanatkarOpinionDagalbaaj ShivajiDevalacha dharma aani dharmaachi devaleTranslationHindu janancha rhaas aani adhapaatShanimahatmyaShetkaryanche Swarajya (The self-rule of the farmers)

Keshav Sitaram Thackeray Biography

PlaysKhara BrahmanSangeet VidhinishedhTaklele PorSangeet SeetashuddhiBiographiesShri Sant GadgebabaPandit Ramabai SaraswatiCollected ArticlesUth Marathya Uth (Arise Marathi People Arise;

This is a collection of his 12 articles which appeared in the weekly ‘Marmik’, following the establishment of Shiv Sena, first published in 1973, it will be published again in 2013 by ‘Navta Book World’)

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 Shrikant Prabhodankar Thackeray, Bal Thackeray, Ramesh Thackeray, Sanjeevani Karandikar

Official Website

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