Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: Renowned historian, the authority on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, celebrated writer and theatre personality Balwant Moreshwar 'Babasaheb Purandare' passed away in a private hospital in Pune on Monday morning following a brief illness. Decorated with the Padma Vibhushan, Purandare -- who turned 100 on July 29 -- breathed his last at the Dinanath Mangeshkar Hospital & Research Centre, around 5:07 am, stunning the state's political, literary and art circles.

The last rites Balwant Moreshwar Purandare, popularly known as Babasaheb Purandare, was held in Pune today with state honours. From dawn, thousands of his admirers queued up outside his Pune home where his body is kept for people to catch a final glimpse. A sea of humanity was witnessed when the mortal remains of 'Shivshahir' (Shivaji's bard) Purandare were taken for the last rites at the Vaikunth Crematorium.

Expressing his condolences on the Babasaheb Purandare's demise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, left a major void in the world of history and culture.

"I am pained beyond words. The demise of Shivshahir Babasaheb Purandare leaves a major void in the world of history and culture. It is thanks to him that the coming generations will get further connected to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. His other works will also be remembered," he said.

PM Modi further said that Babasaheb Purandare was witty, wise and had a rich knowledge of Indian history and he had interacted with him very closely over the years.

"Shivshahir Babasaheb Purandare was witty, wise and had a rich knowledge of Indian history. I had the honour of interacting with him very closely over the years. A few months back had addressed his centenary year programme. Shivshahir Babasaheb Purandare will live on due to his extensive works. In this sad hour, my thoughts are with his family and countless admirers. Om Shanti," PM Modi said.

Who was Babasaheb Purandare, an authority on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj:

Known by his moniker ‘Shiv Shahir' (Shivaji's bard), Purandare was among the pre-eminent authorities on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Raja Shivchhatrapati, Purandare's popular two-part, 900-page magnum opus on Shivaji Maharaj in Marathi, was first published in the late 1950s and has since been a staple in Marathi households, going through numerous reprints over decades. Purandare had also conceived and directed the theatrical history extravaganza on Shivaji Maharaj's life titled Jaanta Raja in the mid-1980s.

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 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,” Modi had said.

Purandare, born on July 29, 1922, was awarded with Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian award in 2019. He was conferred with the Maharashtra Bhushan award in 2015.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan