Dhondo Keshav Karve
Karve on a 1958 stamp of India
Born(1858-04-18)18 April 1858
Died9 November 1962(1962-11-09) (aged 104)
  • Professor
  • Activist
  • Writer
  • Social Worker
Spouse(s)Radhabai and Godubai
ChildrenRaghunath Karve, Shankar Karve, Dinkar Karve, Bhaskar Karve

Dhondo Keshav Karve (धोंडो केशव कर्वे)(18 April 1858 – 9 November 1962), popularly known as Maharshi Karve (महर्षी कर्वे), was a social reformer in India in the field of women's welfare. He advocated widow remarriage and he himself married a widow. In his honour, Karvenagar in Pune was named after him & Queen's Road in Mumbai (Bombay) was renamed to Maharshi Karve Road. Karve was a pioneer in promoting widows' education founded indian women University .[1] The Government of India awarded him with the highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, in 1958, the year of his 100th birthday.

The appellation Maharshi, which the Indian public often assigned to Karve, means "a great sage".

Career as a college professor

During 1891–1914, Karve taught mathematics at Fergusson College in Pune, Maharashtra.[2]

Autobiographical works

Karve wrote two autobiographical works: Ātmawrutta (1928) in Marathi, and Looking Back (1936) in English.

Depictions in popular culture

The Marathi play Himalayachi Saavli (हिमालयाची सावली) (literal meaning, "The Shadow of the Himalayas". Contextually it means, under the cover of Himalaya) by Vasant Kanetkar, 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 Story of Dr. Karve is a 1958 documentary film directed by Neil Gokhale and Ram Gabale. It was produced by the Government of India's Films Division.[3]

The 2001 film Dhyaas Parva (ध्यास पर्व) by Amol Palekar, based on the life of Karve's son Raghunath, also depicts the Karve family, and their social reformation projects.[4] Taluka Dapoli, a research based initiative, made a documentary on life of Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve in 2017.[5]

Awards and honours

See also


  1. ^ Remembering Maharshi Karve, the man who set up India's first university for women India Today. 18 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Fergusson College Department of Mathematics web page". Archived from the original on 19 June 2006. Retrieved 11 August 2006.
  3. ^ Jag Mohan (1990). Documentary films and Indian Awakening. Publications Division. p. 128. ISBN 978-81-230-2363-2.
  4. ^ Ahmed, Afsana; Aug 20, Smrity Sharma /; 2001; Ist, 23:39. "Amol Palekar, Actor & Film-Maker on his latest film Dhyaas-Parva's | Lucknow News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 January 2021.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ "Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve | Taluka Dapoli". www.talukadapoli.com. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2007)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 April 2009. Retrieved 26 November 2010.