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Dhondo Keshav Karve

Dhondo Keshav Karve

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Maharshi Dr. Dhondo Keshav Karve (Marathi
Marathi language
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of western and central India. It is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. There are over 68 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most...

: महर्षी डॉ. धोंडो केशव कर्वे) (April 18, 1858 - November 9, 1962) was a social reformer in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 in the field of women's welfare
Women's rights
Women's rights are entitlements and freedoms claimed for women and girls of all ages in many societies.In some places these rights are institutionalized or supported by law, local custom, and behaviour, whereas in others they may be ignored or suppressed...

. In honour of Karve, Queen's Road in Mumbai (Bombay) was renamed to Maharishi Karve Road

Mahatma Phule and Savitribai Phule are known as pioneers in promoting women's education
Female education
Female education is a catch-all term for a complex of issues and debates surrounding education for females. It includes areas of gender equality and access to education, and its connection to the alleviation of poverty...

  . Inspired by Mahatma Phule's movement , Mr Karve decided to continue the work of promoting women's education
Female education
Female education is a catch-all term for a complex of issues and debates surrounding education for females. It includes areas of gender equality and access to education, and its connection to the alleviation of poverty...

 in India. The Government of India
Government of India
The Government of India, officially known as the Union Government, and also known as the Central Government, was established by the Constitution of India, and is the governing authority of the union of 28 states and seven union territories, collectively called the Republic of India...

 awarded Dhondo Keshav Karve its highest civilian award, Bhārat Ratna
Bharat Ratna
Bharat Ratna is the Republic of India's highest civilian award, awarded for the highest degrees of national service. This service includes artistic, literary, and scientific achievements, as well as "recognition of public service of the highest order." Unlike knights, holders of the Bharat Ratna...

, in 1958, the year he turned 100 years old
Centenarian
A centenarian is a person who is or lives beyond the age of 100 years. Because current average life expectancies across the world are less than 100, the term is invariably associated with longevity. Much rarer, a supercentenarian is a person who has lived to the age of 110 or more, something only...

.

The appellation Maharshi, which the Indian public often assigned to Karve, means ”a great sage”. He was also sometimes affectionately called "Annā Karve"; in the Marāthi
Marathi language
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of western and central India. It is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. There are over 68 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most...

-speaking community to which Karve belonged, the appellation "Annā" is often used to address either one's father or an elder brother.

Early life


Annasaheb Karve was born on 18 April 1858 at Murud , Dapoli Tālukā of Ratnāgiri district in Mahārāshtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

. He was a native of Murud
Murud (Ratnagiri), Maharashtra
Murud is a Village in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, India.It is located in the Dapoli sub-district of Ratnagiri district...

 in the Konkan
Konkan
The Konkan also called the Konkan Coast or Karavali is a rugged section of the western coastline of India from Raigad to Mangalore...

 region. He was born in a lower middle-class Chitpāvan
Chitpavan
The Chitpavan or Chitpawan, also known as Konkanastha Brahmins , are a Smarta Brahmin community of Konkan, the coastal region of western Maharashtra in India....

 Brahmin
Brahmin
Brahmin Brahman, Brahma and Brahmin.Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self...

 family. His father's name was Keshav Bāpunnā Karve. In his autobiography, he wrote of his struggle to appear at a public service examination, walking 110 miles in torrential rain and difficult terrain to the nearest city of Sātārā
Satara
Satara is a city located in the Satara District of Maharashtra state of India. The town is 2320 ft. above sea-level, near the confluence of the Krishna and its tributary river Venna. The city was the capital of the Maratha empire in the 17th century, hence one of the the historical cities of...

, and his shattering disappointment at not being allowed to appear for the examination because "he looked too young".

Karve studied at Rhinestone College in Bombay (Mumbai
Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

) to receive a bachelor's degree in mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

.

First Marriage


Karve's parents arranged his marriage when he was 14 to an 8-year-old girl named Rādhābāi. Karve had written in his autobiography:

"… I was married at the age of fourteen and my wife was then eight. Her family lived very near to ours, and we knew each other very well and had often played together. However, after marriage, we had to forget our old relation as playmates and to behave as strangers, often looking toward each other but never standing together to exchange words…. We had to communicate with each other through my sister…… My marital life began under the parental roof at Murud when I was twenty…".

Radhabhai died in 1891 during childbirth at age 27, leaving behind a young son named Raghunath Karve
Raghunath Karve
Raghunath Dhondo Karve was a professor of mathematics and a visionary social reformer from Maharashtra, India. He was a pioneer in initiating family planning and birth control for masses in Mumbai in 1921.Raghunath was the eldest son of Bharat Ratna Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve...

. Raghunath became a visionary social reformer.

Second Marriage


Reformatory thoughts concerning the then prevalent harsh social mores against womankind, stated above, were already stirring up the mind of Karve by the time Radhabai died. Implementing his own reformatory thoughts with extraordinary courage, two years later he chose as his second wife a widow --a 23-year-old widow named Godubāi-- rather than an unmarried girl whom he could have easily arranged to secure as his new wife according to the prevalent social mores. Godubai, who had been widowed at age 8 within three months of her marriage even before she knew, as she would say later, what it was to be a wife. Before marrying Karve, Godubai had started studying in her early twenties at Panditā Ramābāi
Pandita Ramabai
Pandita Ramabai was a social reformer and activist. She was born as Hindu, started Arya Mahila Samaj and later converted to Christianity to serve widows and helpless women of India....

’s pioneering Shāradā Sadan as its first widow student, and had also displayed equal courage, like Karve, in defying social mores against remarriages by widows.

Concerning his marriage to Godubai, Karve described in his autobiography how he had asked for her hand in marriage to her father:

"I told him…..[that] I had made up my mind to marry a widow. He sat silent for a minute, and then hinted that there was no need to go in search of such a bride".

Career as a college professor


During 1891-1914, Karve taught mathematics at Fergusson College
Fergusson College
Fergusson College is a degree college in western India, situated in the city of Pune. It was founded in 1885 by the Deccan Education Society and at that time was the first privately governed college in India. It is named after Sir James Fergusson, the Governor of Bombay, who donated a then...

 in Pune
Pune
Pune , is the eighth largest metropolis in India, the second largest in the state of Maharashtra after Mumbai, and the largest city in the Western Ghats. Once the centre of power of the Maratha Empire, it is situated 560 metres above sea level on the Deccan plateau at the confluence of the Mula ...

, Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

.
After marriage Dodhubai's name became Aanandibai

Inspirations


The work of Pandita Ramabai inspired Karve to dedicate his life to the cause of female education, and the work of Pandit Vishnushāstri and Pandit Iswar Chandra Vidyāsāgar inspired him to work for uplifting the status of widows. Writings of Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer was an English philosopher, biologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era....

 had also highly influenced him.

Social work


In 1893, Karve founded Widhawā-Wiwāhottejak Mandali, which, besides encouraging marriages of widows, also helped the needy children of widows. In 1895, the institution was renamed as Widhawā-Wiwāha-Pratibandh-Niwārak Mandali (Society to Remove Obstacles to Marriages of Widows).

In 1896, Karve established a Hindu Widows' Home Association and started in Hingane, a village then in the outskirts of Pune
Pune
Pune , is the eighth largest metropolis in India, the second largest in the state of Maharashtra after Mumbai, and the largest city in the Western Ghats. Once the centre of power of the Maratha Empire, it is situated 560 metres above sea level on the Deccan plateau at the confluence of the Mula ...

 in Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

, Mahilāshram, a shelter and a school for women, including widows. He started Mahilā Vidyālaya in 1907; the following year, he started Nishkām Karma Math (Social Service Society) to train workers for the Widows Home and the Mahila Vidyalaya.

Later, Widows Home was renamed as Hingane Stree Shikshan Samsthā. Still later, as the institution flourished by leaps and bounds, it was renamed as Maharshi Karve Stree Shikshan Samstha
Maharshi Karve Stree Shikshan Samstha
Maharshi Karve Stree Shikshan Samstha is an Indian education society engaged in women's education. It was set up by Dhondo Keshav Karve in 1896 as Hingane Stree Shikshan Samstha.-Institutes run by Shikshan Samstha :* * 1994 - Dr...

. When Karve had started his shelter and school for women, including widows, in 1896, he had to start it in the remote village of Hingane outside the city of Pune because the dominant orthodox Brahmin
Brahmin
Brahmin Brahman, Brahma and Brahmin.Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self...

 community in the city had ostracized him for his reformatory activitities. (Karve himself belonged to the Brahmin community.) With his meager resources, for many years Karve would walk several miles from Hingane to the city of Pune to teach mathematics at Fergusson College and also collect in his spare time paltry donations from a few progressive donors, even as some others from the orthodox community would openly hurl insulting epithets at him when he went around to spread the word of his emancipatory work and collect donations.

Karve's 20-year-old widowed sister-in-law, Pārwatibāi Āthawale, was the first to join his school. After finishing her education, she joined him as the first woman superintendent of the then-named Hindu Widows' Home Association.

After reading information about Japan Women's University
Japan Women's University
is the oldest and largest of private Japanese women's universities. The university was established in 20 April 1901 by education reformist .The university has around 6000 students and 200 faculty...

 in Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, Karve felt inspired to establish in 1916 in Pune the first university for women in India, with five students.

During 1917–1918, Karve established the Training College for Primary School Teachers, and another school for girls, Kanyā Shālā.

In 1920, an industrialist and philanthropist from Mumbai, Sir Vithaldās Thāckersey, donated Karve's university 1.5 million Indian rupeesa substantial sum in those daysand the university was then renamed Shreemati Nāthibāi Dāmodar Thāckersey (SNDT) Indian Women’s University
SNDT Women's University
Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women's University is a women's university in the city of Mumbai, India. The university headquarters are situated at Churchgate in South Mumbai, while the main campus is in Santacruz–Juhu area of Mumbai. SNDT has three campuses: two in Mumbai and one in...

.

In March 1929, Karve left for a tour of England. He attended the Primary Teachers' Conference at Malvern, and spoke on "Education of Women in India" at a meeting of the East India Association at Caxton Hall, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. From 25 July - 4 August 1929, he attended an educational conference in Geneva
Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

, and spoke on "The Indian Experiment in Higher Education for Women." From 8 - 21 August, he attended in Elsinor the international meeting of educatros under the auspices of the New Education Fellowship.

During a subsequent tour of America
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Karve lectured at various forums on women's education and social reforms in India. He also visited the Women's University in Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

. He returned to India in April 1930.

In December 1930, Karve left for a fifteen-month tour of Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 to spread information about his work for women in India. He visited Mombasa
Mombasa
Mombasa is the second-largest city in Kenya. Lying next to the Indian Ocean, it has a major port and an international airport. The city also serves as the centre of the coastal tourism industry....

, Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

, Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

, Tanganyika
Tanganyika
Tanganyika , later formally the Republic of Tanganyika, was a sovereign state in East Africa from 1961 to 1964. It was situated between the Indian Ocean and the African Great Lakes of Lake Victoria, Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika...

, Zanzibar
Zanzibar
Zanzibar ,Persian: زنگبار, from suffix bār: "coast" and Zangi: "bruin" ; is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, in East Africa. It comprises the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of the mainland, and consists of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja , and Pemba...

, Portuguese East Africa
Portuguese East Africa
Mozambique or Portuguese East Africa was the common name by which the Portuguese Empire's territorial expansion in East Africa was known across different periods of time...

, and South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 .

In 1931, the SNDT university established its first college in Mumbai, and moved its headquarters to Mumbai five years later.

In 1936, Karve started the Maharashtra Village Primary Education Society with the goal of opening primary schools in villages which had no schools run by the District Local Boards. He also encouraged maintenance of reading habits of adults in villages. In 1944, he founded the Samatā Sangh (Association for the Promotion of Human Equality).

In 1949, the Government of India recognized SNDT University as a statutory university.

The SNDT University and other educational institutions for women started by Karve currently cover the spectrum ranging from pre-primary schools to colleges in humanities, sciences, engineering, architecture, and business management.

Besides dedicating his life to the emancipation of women in India, Karve stood for the abolition of the caste system and the curse of untouchability
Untouchability
Untouchability is the social practice of ostracizing a minority group by segregating them from the mainstream by social custom or legal mandate. The excluded group could be one that did not accept the norms of the excluding group and historically included foreigners, nomadic tribes, law-breakers...

 in Hindu society.

Family


Karve had four sons: Raghunāth
Raghunath Karve
Raghunath Dhondo Karve was a professor of mathematics and a visionary social reformer from Maharashtra, India. He was a pioneer in initiating family planning and birth control for masses in Mumbai in 1921.Raghunath was the eldest son of Bharat Ratna Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve...

 (from his first marriage), Shankar, Dinkar, and Bhāskar. All of them rose to eminence in their own fields of work. Raghunath Karve was a professor of mathematics and a pioneer in sex education and birth control in India. Dinkar was a professor of chemistry and later on Principal of Fergusson college
Fergusson College
Fergusson College is a degree college in western India, situated in the city of Pune. It was founded in 1885 by the Deccan Education Society and at that time was the first privately governed college in India. It is named after Sir James Fergusson, the Governor of Bombay, who donated a then...

 and an eminent educationist; Dinkar's wife, Irawati Karve
Irawati Karve
Irawati Karve was an Indian anthropologist, educationist, and a writer from Maharashtra, India. She was born at Irawati to G. H. Karmarkar, engineer in Myingyan, Burma, so as to commemorate birth place secrede river iravati, she was given name 'Iravati'...

, was an anthropologist, an eminent author and a leading sociologist of India. Bhaskar and his wife Kāveri worked in Hingane Stree Shikshan Samstha in various leading capacities. His second son, Shankar Karve spent most of his professional life as an eminent doctor in the city of Mombasa
Mombasa
Mombasa is the second-largest city in Kenya. Lying next to the Indian Ocean, it has a major port and an international airport. The city also serves as the centre of the coastal tourism industry....

, in the then British colony of Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

. On his 80th birthday, the Kenyan government issued a postage stamp in his honour.

Raghunath published a health magazine, especially promoting sex education and birth control. Dinkar wrote a book titled "The New Brahmans: Five Maharashtrian Families" in which he profiled his father along with other Brahmin reformers, and coauthored a book titled A History of Education in India and Pakistan (1964). Irawati wrote a sociological book in Marathi and a compilation of her essays.

Autobiographical works


Karve wrote two autobiographical works: Ātmawrutta (1928) in Marathi, and Looking Back (1936) in English. He ended the latter with the words: Here ends the story of my life. I hope this simple story will serve some useful purpose.

Depictions in Popular Culture


The Marathi play "Himalayachi Saavli" (The Shadow of the Himalayas) by Vasant Kanetkar
Vasant Kanetkar
Vasant Shankar Kanetkar was a Marathi playwright and novelist from Maharashtra, India.He was born in the town of Rahimatpur in Satara District, Maharashtra...

, published in 1972, is loosely based on the life of Karve. The character of Nanasaheb Bhanu is a composite character based on Karve and other Marathi social reformers of the late 19th and early 20th century. The play itself depicts the tension between Bhanu/Karve's public life as a social reformer and his family life due to the social backlash and economic hardships his children and wife had to endure.

The film "DhayasaParva" by Amol Palekar
Amol Palekar
Amol Palekar is an Indian actor of the 1970s and a director of Hindi and Marathi cinema.-Theater career:Palekar began in Marathi experimental theatre with Satyadev Dubey, and later started his own group, Aniket, in 1972 [citation needed]...

, based on the life of Karve's son Raghunath, also depicts the Karve family, and their social reformation projects.

Awards and honors

  • 1942 - Awarded Doctor of Letters
    Doctor of Letters
    Doctor of Letters is a university academic degree, often a higher doctorate which is frequently awarded as an honorary degree in recognition of outstanding scholarship or other merits.-Commonwealth:...

     (D. Litt.) by Banaras Hindu University
    Banaras Hindu University
    Banaras Hindu University is a public university located in Varanasi, India and is one of the Central Universities of India. It is the largest residential university in Asia, with over 24,000 students in its campus. BHU was founded in 1916 by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya under the Parliamentary...

  • 1951 - Awarded D.Litt. by Pune University
  • 1954 - Awarded D.Litt. by S.N.D.T. University
    SNDT Women's University
    Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women's University is a women's university in the city of Mumbai, India. The university headquarters are situated at Churchgate in South Mumbai, while the main campus is in Santacruz–Juhu area of Mumbai. SNDT has three campuses: two in Mumbai and one in...

  • 1955 - Awarded Padma Vibhushan
    Padma Vibhushan
    The Padma Vibhushan is the second highest civilian award in the Republic of India. It consists of a medal and a citation and is awarded by the President of India. It was established on 2 January 1954. It ranks behind the Bharat Ratna and comes before the Padma Bhushan...

     by the Government of India
  • 1957 - Awarded LL.D. by University of Mumbai
    University of Mumbai
    The University of Mumbai , is a state university located in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. It was known as the University of Bombay until 1996 when the city of Bombay was renamed as Mumbai. The affiliated colleges of the university are spread throughout the city of Mumbai and four coastal districts in...

  • 1958 - Awarded Bharat Ratna
    Bharat Ratna
    Bharat Ratna is the Republic of India's highest civilian award, awarded for the highest degrees of national service. This service includes artistic, literary, and scientific achievements, as well as "recognition of public service of the highest order." Unlike knights, holders of the Bharat Ratna...

     by the Government of India

External links


(The biography was commissioned and published by the Dr. D. K. Karve Centenary Celebrations Committee on April 18, 1958, the birth centenary of Karve. Jawāharlāl Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru , often referred to with the epithet of Panditji, was an Indian statesman who became the first Prime Minister of independent India and became noted for his “neutralist” policies in foreign affairs. He was also one of the principal leaders of India’s independence movement in the...

, the then Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 of India, had addressed the main function that day at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai).
  • Maharshi Karve – His 105 years, Hingne Stree Shikshan Samstha (1963).
  • Maharshi Karve & Family
  • http://maharshikarvefamily.blogspot.com/