Other States

Noted historian and Shivaji expert Babasaheb Purandare critical

Noted historian and Padma Vibhushan awardee Balwant Moreshwar Purandare, popularly known as ‘Babasaheb’ Purandare, is said to be in a critical condition and is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Pune, sources said on Sunday.

Mr. Purandare, an authority on the Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji, was diagnosed with pneumonia a week ago and was admitted to the city’s Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital where he is currently undergoing treatment.

“He has been diagnosed with pneumonia owing to advanced age and has been admitted here [Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital] and is currently on ventilator in the hospital’s intensive care unit. His health has deteriorated and he is in an extremely critical condition,” said Shirish Yadkikar, the hospital’s public relations officer.

The historian’s declining health sparked rumours of his passing away in a section of the vernacular media and a number of local news portals.

Refuting such reports, Siddharth Shirole, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Pune’s Shivajinagar constituency tweeted that “Shivshahir Babasaheb Purandare is critical and undergoing treatment at the Deenath Mangeshkar Hospital. Please refrain from sharing otherwise.”

Known by his moniker ‘Shiv Sahir’ (literally Shivaji’s bard), the 99-year-old Mr. Purandare is considered one of the pre-eminent authorities on Chhatrapati Shivaji.

Raja Shivchhatrapati, Mr. Purandare’s popular two-part, 900-page magnum opus on Shivaji in Marathi, was first published in the late 1950s and has since been a staple in Marathi households, going through numerous reprints over decades.

Earlier this year, tributes had flown in from across the political spectrum on the occasion of the historian having completed 99 years, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeting Mr. Purandare via a video message.

“Babasaheb’s work is inspirational. I visited Pune to see Babasaheb’s play ‘Janata Raja’, based on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Even when Babasaheb used to visit Ahmedabad I used to attend his programmes,” Mr. Modi had said.

The historian was one of the earliest ideologues of Bal Thackeray’s Shiv Sena in the 1970s. His also conceived and directed the theatrical history extravaganza on Shivaji’s life titled Jaanta Raja in the mid-1980s. .


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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 11:00:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/noted-historian-and-shivaji-expert-babasaheb-purandare-critical/article37495674.ece

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