G. S. Ghurye
Born(1893-12-12)12 December 1893
Malvan, Bombay Presidency, British India
Died28 December 1983(1983-12-28) (aged 90)[1]
Bombay, Maharashtra, India[2]
CitizenshipIndian (formerly British subject
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge
SpouseSajubai Ghurye.
Scientific career
FieldsSociology, Anthropology
InstitutionsUniversity of Bombay
Doctoral advisorW. H. R. Rivers & A. C. Haddon

Govind Sadashiv Ghurye (12 December 1893 – 28 December 1983) was a pioneering Indian academic who was a professor of sociology.[3] In 1924, he became the second person to head the Department of Sociology at the University of Bombay.[4] And, is widely regarded as the founder of Indian Sociology & Sociology in India.

Early life

G S Ghurye was born, in a Saraswat Brahmin community[5] on 12 December 1893, at Malvan, in present-day Maharashtra.[2] His early schooling was at the Aryan Education Society's High School, Girgaum, in Bombay, and then at Bahadur Khanji High School, Junagadh, in the princely state of Junagadh.[2] He joined Bahauddin college at Junagarh, in 1912, but moved on to Elphinstone College, Bombay, after a year, and received his B. A. (Sanskrit) and M. A. (Sanskrit) degrees from there.[6] He earned the Bhau Daji prize with his B. A., and the Chancellor's gold medal with his M. A. degree.[6] After completing his M. A., Ghurye received a scholarship for further studies in England, and earned his PhD from Cambridge University in 1922.[2] Ghurye was deeply influenced by W. H. R. Rivers, who was his PhD guide.[7] After Rivers' untimely death in 1922, he completed his thesis under A. C. Haddon.[7]

Personal life

Ghurye was married to Sajubai of Vengurla, a town near Malwan.[2] His son, Sudhish Ghurye is a Mathematician and Statistician, and daughter Kumud G. Ghurye was a barrister.[8]


Ghurye was appointed as Head of the Department of Sociology in Bombay University in 1924, and retired in 1959.[9] The department was founded by Patrick Geddes in 1919.[10] However, when Ghurye took it over, it was on the verge of closure. The department came alive once again with Ghurye, and now, Ghurye is regarded as the real founder[11] and "shaped" the study of sociology there from then on.[12]

He also founded the Indian Sociological Society and its newsletter, Sociological Bulletin, and served as head for both.[13] He also headed the Bombay Anthropological Society for some years.[14]

After retirement, he served as Professor Emeritus for Bombay University and at least three festschrifts were produced in his honour, of which two were during his lifetime.[15] He guided a total of 80 research theses and authored 32 books and a number of other papers.[16] Later, at least two theses were written on him.[17]

Among his students were personalities like noted social reformer and intellectual Dr. Uttamrao K. Jadhav,[18] A. J. Agarkar, Y. M. Rege, L. N. Chapekar, M. G. Kulkarni, M. S. A. Rao, Iravati Karve, C. Rajagopalan, Y. B. Damle, M.N. Srinivas, A. R. Desai, D. Narain, I. P. Desai, M. S. Gore, Suma Chitnis and Victor D'Souza.[19] He also had the opportunity to see the "Dr. G. S. Ghurye Award" being instituted in his honour.[20] His book Caste and race in India is regarded as a classic in the field.[21]




  1. Pillai, S. Devadas. Indian sociology through Ghurye, a dictionary, "Bhau Daji Lad was a scholar and reform-activist, a nationalist of Bombay [Mumbai] in the second half of the 19th cent."[2]
  2. Dhirendra Narain, The legacy of G.S. Ghurye: a centennial festschrift, "Mrs. Sajubai Ghurye is one of the early authors on cookery, a little too flourishing and profitable a branch of writing these days. Her book in Marathi, my wife tells me, is very good—very accurate in measurement and very systematic in its directions."[22]
  3. Pillai, S. Devadas. Indian sociology through Ghurye, a dictionary, "The Bombay Univ instituted an annual Ghurye Award (qv), during his lifetime, to encourage authors in sociology and anthropology."[23]


  1. ^ Momin 1996, p. 28.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Pillai 1997, p. 101.
  3. ^ Momin 1996, p. 4; Pillai 1997, p. 13.
  4. ^ University of Mumbai.
  5. ^ "Obituary GS Ghurye". Economic and Political Weekly. 19 (1): 7–8. 5 June 2015.
  6. ^ a b Pillai 1997, p. 101; Tikekar & Ṭikekara 2006, p. 106.
  7. ^ a b Momin 1996, pp. 2–3, Chapter author:M. N. Srinivas; Momin 1996, p. 20 Chapter author:Dhirendra Narain
  8. ^ Pillai 1997, p. 102; Momin 1996, pp. 15, 27, Chapter author:Dhirendra Narain; Momin 1996, pp. 37 Chapter author:Sadanand Bhatkal
  9. ^ Pillai 1997, p. 102; Pillai 1976, pp. 27–28; University of Mumbai & _.
  10. ^ Pillai 1997, pp. 119–123; University of Mumbai & _.
  11. ^ Pillai 1997, pp. 119–123.
  12. ^ Srivastava, Vinay Kumar; Chaudury, Sukant K. (2009). "Anthropological Studies of Indian Tribes". In Atal, Yogesh (ed.). Sociology and Social Anthropology in India. Pearson Education India. p. 60. ISBN 9788131720349.
  13. ^ Pillai 1997, pp. 102, 123–124; University of Mumbai & _.
  14. ^ Pillai 1997, p. 102.
  15. ^ Pillai 1997, pp. 14, 102–103; University of Mumbai & _.
  16. ^ Pillai 1997, pp. 103, 126-; Pillai 1976, pp. 29–40 (a discussion of Ghurye's works, see list on p 40); University of Mumbai
  17. ^ Pillai 1997, pp. 103, 392; University of Mumbai & _.
  18. ^ Jadhav, Uttamrao (1972). Is Capital Punishment Necessary?. Mumbai: Anand Publications.
  19. ^ Pillai 1997, pp. 111, 270; University of Mumbai & _.
  20. ^ Pillai 1997, p. 124.
  21. ^ a b Pillai 1976, p. 29.
  22. ^ Momin 1996, p. 30.
  23. ^ Pillai 1997, p. 103.


Further reading