Noted historian and orator Ninad Bedekar, known for his studies on the Maratha king, Shivaji, and his extensive research on the forts of Maharashtra, passed away aged 65 at a hospital in Pune.
Mr. Bedekar, a mechanical engineer by training, breathed his last on Sunday. According to relatives, he had been suffering from heart and kidney ailments for the last couple of years.
A prolific writer in his mother-tongue Marathi, he is credited with popularising the history of Maharashtra.In 2003, Mr. Bedekar, along with the right-wing Shiv Sena, was instrumental in bringing about the ban on American scholar James Laine’s book on Shivaji titled Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India . Mr. Bedekar had written to the Oxford University Press seeking a ban.
Holding managerial positions at Kirloskar Cummins for several years, he later quit his job to pursue his interests. He lectured widely on Maratha history and was responsible for conceptualising the sound-and-light show at the Peshwa-era fort of Shaniwarwada in Pune.
A well-travelled historian, he visited and researched over 100 forts not only in Maharashtra, but in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Mr. Bedekar learnt Arabic, Persian and French to decipher material pertaining to the Maratha era.
He was a lifetime member of the Bharat Itihas Sanshodhak Mandal and an honorary member of the Maharashtra government fort renovation and beautification committee. Mr. Bedekar’s last rites were performed on Monday.