DADOBA PANDURANG TARKHADKAR (1814-1882)
Dadoba Pandurang was associated with Bal Shastri Jambhekar when they studied together and lived at Bapu Chhatre’s house. He outlived Bal Shastri by 36 years. He acted as a link between the reformers of the early forties and was also associated with the reformers of the eighties. He was very much influenced by Ram Mohan Roy and other leaders of the Bramho Samaj. The movement that he started had however an origin and growth of its own.
Dadoba Pandurang was an educator. His grammar book acquired great popularity in Mahar. He was principal of gujarati schoool at Surat, then a part of Bombay Presidency. There he was joined by Dayaram Mancuram, one of the teachers of that school in promoting social reforms.
They founded the Association of Religion of Manking (Manava-Dharma sabha) in 1844. In his book ‘Dharma Vivechana’ published in 1843 he had expressed his ideas about God and religion. The Association which was founded in 1844 practically borrowed its contents and formulated them as the tenets of the Association of the Religion of Mankind. The Association represented a universalism in religion and social life. This new religion was given a broad base of rationalism. This association could hardly survive after the departure of Dadoba from Surat in 1846.
Jamshedkar had already attempted to remove some absurd features and superstitious beliefs under the name of religion. Dadoba went one step ahead and wanted a rethinking on this very sensitive and vital subject of common interest.
Dadoba’s rationalism makes a special contribution to the thought of the western educated gentry in Bombay and the cities in Maharashtra. His campaigns against sorcerers and enchanters suggested that he considered it a duty of the educated people to clear the cobwebs of superstitions from the minds of the mass of people. The foundation of the ‘Paramhansa Sabha’ showed the way for others to follow. It was nor religion that was the chief...
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