People also know Keshav Sitaram Thackeray as ‘Prabodhankar Thackeray’. Keshav Sitaram Thackeray He was a top social reformer and effective writer of ‘Satyashodhak movement’. He was an Indian social reformer who campaigned against superstitions and social evils like untouchability, child marriage and dowry in India.
Keshav Sitaram Thackeray was born on 17 September 1885 in ‘Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu’ family in ‘Panvel’ (Panvel – a locality in Konkan division in Raigad district of Maharashtra). His father’s name was Sitaram Panvelkar. According to his autobiography “Majhi Jeevangatha”, one of his ancestors was a fort of ‘Dhodap Fort’ during the Maratha rule.
Keshav Sitaram Thackeray’s great-grandfather ‘Krishnaji Madhav Dhodapakar’ (Appasaheb) lived in Pali, Raigad, while his grandfather ‘Ramchandra “Bhikoba” Dhodapakar’ settled in Panvel. Keshav Sitaram Thackeray’s father ‘Sitaram Panvelkar’ adopted the surname “Panvelkar” as per tradition, but while admiring his son at school, he gave him the surname “Thackeray”, which clearly preceded “Ghodapkar” in his traditional family name. The name was
Sun. 1902 When Keshav Sitaram Thackeray was a teenager, his father Sitaram Panvelkar died in an epidemic of plague. He was educated in Panvel, Kalyan, Baramati and Bombay (Mumbai). Outside the Bombay Presidency, he studied at the ‘Victoria High School’ in Dewas (Central Province) and later at the ‘University of Calcutta’. Later he settled in Bombay.
Keshav Sitaram Thackeray’s wife’s name was ‘Rama Bai Thackeray’, she died around 1943. They had 6 children: Bal Thackeray, Shrikant Thackeray (Raj Thackeray’s father) and Ramesh Thackeray; Daughters – Pama Tipnis, Sarla Gadkari, Sushila Gupte, Sanjeevani Karandikar. Keshav Sitaram Thackeray also had two brothers, whose names were Vinayakrao Thackeray and Yashwant Thackeray.
- Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis unveiled the portrait of Keshav Sitaram Thackeray inside the hall at BMC (Bombay Municipal Corporation).
- Devendra Fadnavis said- “Keshav Sitaram Thackeray ji fought against all odds, when the society was in the grip of illiteracy, untouchability, superstitions, and created an atmosphere of public opinion against these social evils.”
- Keshav Sitaram Thackeray’s grandson ‘Uddhav Thackeray’ also underlined the social reformist contribution by his grandfather in enabling child reform, ending untouchability and enabling women’s empowerment.
social political activism
Keshav Sitaram Thackeray was one of the prominent leaders of the Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti, which successfully campaigned for the linguistic state of Maharashtra. He was the father of Bal Thackeray, who founded the Shiv Sena, a Marathi Hindu nationalist party. He is also the grandfather of Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray and “Maharashtra Navnirman Sena” chief Raj Thackeray. There is a school named after him in Pune.
Keshav Sitaram Thackeray wrote in Marathi language. He started a fortnightly magazine called ‘Prabodhan’ (Enlightenment), which is the origin of his eponymous name ‘Prabodhankar’. The following are the compositions of Marathi language-
- Majhi Jivagatha (My Autobiography)
- Pratap Singh Chhatrapati and Rango Bapuji
- Gramyanachya Siddhayanta Itihasa i.e. Nokrashichi Banda (A Comprehensive History of the Rebellion or Rebellion of the Bureaucrats), published in Mumbai in 1919 by Yashwant Shivram Raje
- bhikkhushichi band
- Kodandacha Tanatkar
- treacherous shivaji
- Devalacha Dharma and Dharmachi Devale
- Hindu Janache Raas and Advaipat
- Shani Mahatmaya
- Shetkalyanchi Swarajya (Self-Government of the Peasants)
- Shri Sant Gadgebaba
- Pandit Ramabai Saraswati
- Uth Maratha Uth (Arise Marathi People Arise; This is a collection of his 12 articles, which appeared in the weekly ‘Marmik’, after the founding of Shiv Sena, first published in 1973, republished by ‘Navta Book World’ Will be done)
Keshav Sitaram Thackeray died on 20 November 1973 in Bombay (Maharashtra).