MAHADEV GOVIND RANADE -Indian Freedom Fighters Biography


MAHADEV GOVIND RANADE -Indian Freedom Fighters Biography

MAHADEV GOVIND RANADE -Indian Freedom Fighters Biography

Ranade was born on January 16, 1842. At the age of six, Ranade was sent to a Marathi school in Kolhapur, and in 1851, when he was nine, he was transferred to an English school. Ranade completed his schooling at the Elphinston Institute, Bombay. His academic performance was so good that within a year he was admitted into the prestigious Elphinston College, Bombay. Ranade was a scholar. He spent hours reading with utmost concentration, not stopping to relax or socialize. Ranade was among the 21 students who appeared in the Matriculation Examination held in Bombay in 1859. He achieved distinctions in all his degree courses, commencing with B.A. Honours in 1862, M.A. in 1864 and LL.B. and LL.B. Honours in 1864 and 1865 respectively. Almost throughout his academic career he was a scholarship-holder.

He wrote articles and gave speeches on social and economic problems of India. In his 1860 article 'The Maratha Princes, Jagirdars and Inamdars,' he criticized their extravagant lifestyles and laid stress on their education.

Ranade was also actively involved with the Prarthna Samaj, which was similar to the Brahmo Samaj movement in Bengal. Ranade gave the Samaj his best in forwarding social reforms like inter-dining and inter-marriage, widow re-marriage, upliftment of women and the depressed classes.

Ranade's stress on education of women was ill received by the conservatives in the community. Even the ladies in his own house were furious at the prospect of his wile, Ramabai receiving English lessons. A crisis occurred when Ranade prepared Ramabai to deliver an address in English at a public meeting called for starting a high school for girls in Poona. The orthodox Hindus went into a frenzy at the establishment of the school. Ranade bore the criticism quietly.

Ranade decided to join Government service, rather then starting his own law practice, after passing his LL.B. Honours. He started working as a Marathi translator in 1866 in the Education Department of the Government of Bombay. Ranade was appointed the Karbhari for a few months in the Akalkot State, in 1867. In the September of that year, he accepted the position of Judge in Kolhapur State. The next year he joined the Elphinston College where he remained till 1871, as the professor of English Literature and History. In November 1871 he took up a new assignment in Poona as the acting Subordinate Judge from where he was transferred to Nasik in 1878. In 1875 Ranade drafted a memorandum requesting for a responsible government in India. In 1876, the year when the title of Empress was conferred on Queen Victoria, Ranade requested the representation of Indians in the British Parliament with equal political and social statues as other British citizens, and the right to self-government. This was the first time such a direct approach had been taken in the Indian freedom struggle thus far.

In 1881 he was given the position of Special Sub-Judge in Poona which gave him the opportunity to come closer to the poor farmers and assist in settling land related disputes.

In 1885, Ranade was appointed Law Member of the Bombay Legislative Council. He was re-assigned to the position in 1890 and 1893. Ranade became an unofficial member of the Congress and supported it through its infancy. He attended every session and suggested that the Congress should embrace the cause of political as well as social reform.

While in the Legislative Council, Ranade wrote the 'Rise and Fall of the Maratha Power' with Chatrapati Shivaji as the key figure. The same year he published an 'Introduction to the Satara Rajas' and 'The Peshwa Diaries.' Ranade studied the economies of Switzerland, France, Italy and Belgium and made comparisons with the Indian economy. He felt the fragile state of the economy was because of the over-dependence on agriculture - an occupation that suffered from drawbacks like floods, droughts, famines, heavy taxation and inadequate irrigation facilities and relief measures during famines.

Ranade stressed on the development of indigenous small industries. He forwarded the idea for the establishment of agricultural banks by the Government, to give loans directly to the peasants.

From 1893 to 1900, Ranade served on the bench of the Bombay High Court where he took several steps to the liberalize the Hindu Law with regard to women's rights.


Ranade died on January 16, 1901. 

Do you have any questions?

Watch Now