Sethu Madhav Rao Pagdi
BornAugust 27, 1910
DiedOctober 14, 1994(1994-10-14) (aged 84)
EducationB.A., M.A
Alma mater
Occupation(s)historian, administrator
AwardsPadma Bhushan (1992)

Setumadhavarao Pagdi or Sethu Madhav Rao Pagdi[1] (27 August 1910 – 14 October 1994) was an Indian civil servant, a polyglot linguist, an accomplished historian and a distinguished man of letters specialised in modern Maratha history, especially the history of Shivaji.[1][2] He also worked as the secretary of Government of Maharashtra. As a secretary he did his job fairly well. Setu Madhavrao was well versed in Marathi, English, Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu and Persian, apart from Kannada, which was his mother tongue. As a linguist he discovered the sound system and Grammars of tribal languages like Kolami and Gondi. He was one who served the cause of Marathi against all odds in pre and post - Independent Hyderabad state.[3] Following in the footsteps of the noted Bengali historian Jadunath Sarkar, Setu Madhavrao wrote Shivaji's biography in Marathi and English and the theory enkindled the spirit of nationalism in his readers.[4]

The Government of India awarded him the civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan in 1992.[5]

Early life

Madhavrao was born on 27 August 1910 in Nilanga, Hyderabad State (now part of Maharashtra) into a Deshastha Madhva Brahmin family of landlords.[6] He was educated in Gulbarga, Osmanabad, and Pune. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Banaras Hindu University in 1930 and Master of Arts degree from Allahabad University three years later.[7][8]

He was well-versed in Marathi, Kannada, English, Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu, Persian, Telugu and tribal languages like Gondi and Kolami [3]

Literary works

In English

In Marathi


  1. ^ a b K. Venkateshwarlu, A slice of Marathi history, The Hindu, 9 May 2011.
  2. ^ Indica, Volume 32. Heras Institute of Indian History and Culture, St. Xavier's College. 1995. p. 67. In the person of Setu Madhavrao, who died last October at the age of 85, India has lost an outstanding intellect: an able civil servant, an accomplished historian and a distinguished man of letters.
  3. ^ a b Deshpande 2005, p. 68.
  4. ^ Deshpande 2005, p. 69.
  5. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  6. ^ The Illustrated Weekly of India, Volume 95. Bennett, Coleman & Company, Limited, at the Times of India Press. 1974. p. 31.
  7. ^ Autobiography Jeevan-Setu, 1969 (Marathi)
  8. ^ Jaquir Iqbal (October 2009). Encyclopedic dictionary of Marathi literature. Global Vision Publishing House. p. 460. ISBN 9788182202214. Retrieved 1 October 2009.