Govind Purushottam Deshpande

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Govind Purushottam Deshpande (Devanagari: गोविंद पुरुषोत्तम देशपांडे; 1938 – 16 October 2013[1]) was a Marathi playwright and academic from Maharashtra, India.

Govind Purushottam Deshpande
Native name
गोविंद पुरुषोत्तम देशपांडे
Nashik, Maharashtra, India
Died(2013-10-16)16 October 2013
Pune, Maharashtra, India
  • Playwright
  • academic
Alma materMaharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda
Jawaharlal Nehru University
Notable awards


Education and careerEdit

Born in Nashik, Deshpande grew up in Rahimatpur, where he went to school. He completed an MA in Ancient Indian History from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, and enrolled for a Ph.D. at the School of International Affairs, New Delhi. This school subsequently became part of the Jawaharlal Nehru University. Deshpande completed his Ph.D. and later taught at the Centre for East Asian Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. He lived in Pune after retirement. He suffered a brain hemorrhage in July 2013 and was hospitalized. He died at home on 16 October 2013.


Deshpande wrote a column in the Economic and Political Weekly for four decades.[citation needed] His collection of essays on culture and politics, Dialectics of Defeat: Problems of Culture in Post-Colonial India (Seagull, Kolkata), was published in 2006, and he also issued a collection of poems, Ityadi Ityadi Kavita (Etc. etc. poems).[citation needed] He was the editor of the anthology of Indian plays in translation, Modern Indian Drama,[2] published by Sahitya Akademi, 2004.

Awards and recognitionEdit

Deshpande received the Maharashtra State Award for his collective work in 1977 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for playwrighting in 1996.


Deshpande's wife, Kalindi, is a women's rights activist. His daughter, Ashwini, is an economist at the Delhi School of Economics, and his son, Sudhanva, is a publisher with LeftWord Books and a theatre activist with Jana Natya Manch, Delhi. Marathi stage and film actor Jyoti Subhash is his sister, and her daughter Amruta, also an actor, is his niece.

Notable playsEdit

  • Udhwastha Dharmashala (published in English as A Man in Dark Times), directed by Dr Shreeram Lagoo (Marathi), Om Puri (Hindi), Rajinder Nath (Hindi), Shyamanand Jalan (Padatik) in 1982.[citation needed]
  • Andhar Yatra (A Journey in Darkness), directed in Marathi by Satyadev Dubey and in Hindi by Rajinder Nath.[citation needed]
  • Satyashodhak (The Truth Seeker) on the life and times of the 19th-century social reformer Jotiba Phule, directed by Sudhanva Deshpande and performed by Jana Natya Manch.[3] The Marathi productions were directed by Sharad Bhuthadia (Kolhapur) and Atul Pethe (Pune), who also directed a Kannada production in Heggodu.[citation needed]
  • Antim Divas directed by G.P. Deshpande for Padatik in Kolkata (in Hindi) and by Jyoti Subhash in Marathi.[citation needed]
  • Chanakya Vishnugupta directed by Satyadev Dubey for the National School of Drama in Hindi with Ashish Vidyarthi and Baharul Islam in the title roles, and by Dr Shreeram Lagoo in Marathi with himself in the title role.[citation needed]
  • Music System directed by Vijay Kenkre in Marathi.[4]
  • Raastey directed in Marathi by Vijay Kenkre,[4] and Hindi by Jyoti Subhash, directed by Satyadev Dubey for the National School of Drama Repertory Company, and by Arvind Gaur.[5]


  1. ^ "Marathi playwright G P Deshpande passes away". Business Standard India. 16 October 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  2. ^ Modern Indian Drama, ed. G.P. Deshpande, Sahitya Akademi, 2004
  3. ^ "Life As Message". Tehelka Magazine, Vol 9, Issue 24. 16 June 2012.
  4. ^ a b Gahlot, Deepa (7 November 2019). "What ails theatre?". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  5. ^ Pheroze L. Vincent (31 August 2012). "A journey of questions". The Hindu. Delhi, India. Retrieved 13 July 2013.