Dhirubhai Thaker
Thaker in September 2012 at Gujarat Vishwakosh Trust
Thaker in September 2012 at Gujarat Vishwakosh Trust
Born(1918-06-27)27 June 1918
Kodinar, Gujarat, India
Died22 January 2014(2014-01-22) (aged 95)
Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Alma materElphinstone College (1936–1939; BA)
Notable awards
Academic background
Thesis'Manilal Nabhubhai: Sahitya Sadhana' (1956)
Doctoral advisorRamnarayan V. Pathak
Academic work
Doctoral students

Dhirubhai Premshankar Thaker (27 June 1918 – 22 January 2014) was an Indian Gujarati writer, who was best known for creating the Gujarati Vishwakosh, a 25-volume encyclopedia of the Gujarati language.[1]


Thaker was born on 27 June 1918 in Kodinar, a city now in Gir Somnath District, Gujarat, India to his father Premshankar Thaker, and mother, Gomtibahen. His father was a Talati (village development officer) and was fond of reading literature. Thaker was a native of Viramgam, a town in Ahmedabad district.[2]

He completed his primary education from Kodinar and Chanasma while secondary education from Chanasma and Siddhpur. He completed matriculation in 1934 from L. S. High School, Siddhapur with Sanskrit and Science subjects. He received a BA from Elphinstone College in 1939 with Gujarati (Honours) and Sanskrit, and a MA in 1941 from the same college with Gujarati. In 1938, Mumbai University awarded him the M. M. Paramanand Prize for his research work. Oganisami Sadini Pashchim Bharatni Dharmik Chalavalo (Religious Activities of 19th Century India).[2]

He was a professor at Gujarat College until 1960. In 1956, he received PhD under Ramnarayan V. Pathak from Gujarat College for his thesis Manilal Nabhubhai: Sahitya Sadhana, a research work on the life and works of Manilal Dwivedi. He joined Modasa College in 1960. He retired from there later. He also served as a president of Gujarati Sahitya Parishad from 1999 to 2001. He died on 24 January 2014 at Ahmedabad.[1][3]

In his honour, the Dhirubhai Thakar Savyasachi Saraswat Award has been awarded annually by Gujarat Vishwakosh Trust, Ahmedabad since 2013.[4]


He was a lecturer by profession. He wrote criticism, essays, research and plays.[1]

He had written ten works on criticism, seven collections of essays, two research works, three biographies including his autobiography. He had also written one biographical play, two children's plays, one travelogue and two translations. He had edited four study works, sixteen literary works, nine collections (with others) and history of Gujarati literature.[3] He wrote a biography of Manilal Dwivedi entitled Manilal Nabhubhai: Jeevanrang.[5] He wrote a biographical play, Uncho Parvat, Undi Khin (1993, 'Lofty Mountain, Cavernous Valley'), based on the life of Manilal Dwivedi. It was awarded a prize by Batubhai Umarvadia Centre for being the best play.[6] He translated Pablo Neruda's Memoirs as Satyani Mukhomukha : Pablo Nerudana 'Memoirs'no Anuvāda (2010).[7]

He assembled 1700 subject experts to work on Gujarati Vishwakosh, a 25-volume encyclopedia of the Gujarati language which contains 25,000 pages and 23,000 entries.[1]


He was the recipient of the Ranjitram Suvarna Chandrak, the highest literary award in Gujarati language, in 1994 and the Narmad Suvarna Chandrak in 2012.[1][8] He had received Sahitya Gaurav Puraskar in 1998.[2]

He was awarded Padma Bhushan on 25 January 2014 for his contribution in field of literature and education.[9][10]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "Pioneer behind Gujarati Vishwakosh passes away at 96". The Times of India. 25 January 2014. Archived from the original on 23 June 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Darji, Pravin (October 2006). "ધીરુભાઈ પ્રેમશંકર ઠાકર 'સવ્યસાચી'". In Dave, Ramesh R. (ed.). Gujarātī Sāhityano Itihāsa Gāndhīyugīna-anugāndhīyugīna Gadyasarjako : 1985thī 1935 ગુજરાતી સાહિત્યનો ઇતિહાસ (૧૮૯૫થી ૧૯૩૫) : ગાંધીયુગીન-અનુગાંધીયુગીન ગદ્યસર્જકો [History of Gujarati Literature (1895 to 1935) : Prose Writers of Gandhian Era and Post-Gandhan Era] (in Gujarati). Vol. 6 (1st ed.). Ahmedabad: Gujarati Sahitya Parishad. pp. 441–445. OCLC 52268627.
  3. ^ a b "મુખ્ય સંશોધક : ડૉ. ધીરુભાઈ ઠાકર". Gujarat Vishvakosh Trust (in Gujarati). Archived from the original on 15 November 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  4. ^ "K G Subramanyan awarded Savyasachi Award". The Times of India. 28 June 2015. Archived from the original on 9 February 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
  5. ^ Stanley Schab; George Simson (1997). Life Writing from the Pacific Rim: Essays from Japan, China, Indonesia, India, and Siam, With a Psychological Overview. Hawai'i: University of Hawaii Press. p. 54. ISBN 978-0-8248-1970-5. Archived from the original on 21 May 2021. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  6. ^ Desai, S.D. (December 2002). More Happenings: Gujarati Theatre Today (1990 – 1999). Gandhinagar: Gujarat Sahitya Academy. p. 69. ISBN 81-7227-113-1. OCLC 53840078.
  7. ^ Patel, Rajendra (May 2021). અંતિમ શ્વાસ સુધી સજ્જ [Active Till The Last Breath]. Vishwavihar (in Gujarati). Ahmedabad: Gujarati Vishwakosh Trust. p. 16. ISSN 2321-6999.
  8. ^ "Narmad award for nonagenarian Dhirubhai Thakar". dnaindia.com. 9 September 2012. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  9. ^ PTI (25 January 2014). "List of Padma awardees". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 22 September 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  10. ^ "7 Gujaratis in Padma awards list". The Times of India. 26 January 2014. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.

Further reading