When Purandare spoke, he brought Shivaji Maharaj to life in front of the audience | Pune News
Pune: Babasaheb Purandare lived and breathed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. His 10 volumes Shivcharitra Raja Shivchhatrapati, thousands of lectures and the epic Janata Raja not only carried the illustrious life and valor battles of King Maratha into every household in Maharashtra and beyond, but also infused the ideals of the mighty warrior of the very conscience of the people.
Purandare, a leading history scholar, died at 5:07 a.m. on Monday in a Pune hospital from age-related pneumonia. He was 99 years old. The last rites were celebrated at the Vaikunth crematorium with state honors.
For over seven decades, Purandare was a bard of Shivaji Maharaj (Shivshahir). But his words were based on solid evidence and facts. He had walked through hundreds of forts that King Maratha had conquered and visited every house that could give him original documents, a weapon, or anything related to Shivaji Maharaj. He meticulously preserved every small acquisition with great love for posterity.
History never seemed dull or dry when Purandare stepped onto the podium. His powerful oratory brought his idol to life in front of the audience who always felt like they were witnessing the life of Shivaji Maharaj unfolding before their eyes.
Purandare honed his research skills under the guidance of renowned historians GH Khare and Shankarrao Joshi at Bharat Itihas Sanshodhak Mandal, a place of historical eminence in Pune. He was a poet, an excellent storyteller and narrator, an author, a playwright and a novelist. His participation in Dadra Nagar Haveli’s liberation movement also made him a freedom fighter.
He celebrated his 99th birthday three months ago. In a congratulation, Purandare said: “You have to be obsessed with history if you want to understand it. I love Shivaji Maharaj, but I am not his pujari (priest) or his gulam (slave). I am in love with his intelligence, his bravery and his wisdom. But above all, I am impressed by his idea of building a nation, ”Purandare said at the time.
Renowned comedian PL Deshpande captured the essence of Purandare’s greatness in his pen sketch in the book “Gangoat”.
Deshpande wrote: Babasaheb introduced the life of Shivaji Maharaj to the most common people in easy-to-understand and lively language, but he never lost sight of the fact that historical research is a science. He has been open-minded to study new material and incorporate them into his writings as long as they are based on solid facts and evidence, he said.
Deshpande appreciated Purandare’s mastery over the details which ensured that the story was not disconnected from the present. “He reads literature with the same interest. He can watch a Hindi movie, listen to Radio Ceylan, attend classical music concerts and know the score of a cricket match. On his treks to the forts, he is as interested in the birds that nest there as the flowers that bloom, ”Deshpande wrote.
Purandare was so immersed in the life of Shivaji Maharaj that he could almost see some of the events of his life unfolding as he moved on the roads of Pune.
Deshpande recalled one such example in his pen sketch: “We were traveling by car on the road below the Nava Pul and heading towards Sambhaji Park. When we passed the Rokdoba temple near the Bhavan Congress, Babasaheb told me to stop. “Do you see this place? Shivaji Maharaj’s horses had been waiting for him there. It was April 6, 1663. Maharaj had cut off Shahiste Khan’s fingers at Lal Mahal and escaped. He came straight here, took his horse and went to Sinhagad, ‘”Deshpande wrote, adding that one had to be prepared to be delayed on a trip with Purandare as he often ended up recounting exciting episodes of the day. life of the king he adored.
Purandare leaves behind an unprecedented wealth of work on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. With his demise, the state lost an ardent scholar.