personality couldn’t be summed up despite several adjectives added to his name.
He was a litterateur too. ‘Vakrutva-shastra’ meaning ‘science of elocution study’ was first important published work of Prabodhankar Thackeray. It’s arguably the first book of its kind in Indian languages and it won him accolades from Lokmanya Tilak himself. He later penned many plays, biographies and booklets. He was also accomplished author who wrote extensively on religion and history. His ‘mazi jivangatha’, a personal memoir describing various events of the 20 th century in Maharashtra has now turned as an important document for historians and researchers.
He also acted in several marathi films like Shyamchi aai, mahatma phule and majhi laxmi. Many of his films are placed in all time classics.
And even with such exalted position he remained firmly rooted to the ground, choosing to spread like a banyan tree instead of growing like palm.
NAVRATRI UTSAV AS PER ‘MAHARASHTRIAN’ TRADITION
In 1927, Prabhodhankar started Navratri utsav in true ‘maharashtrian’ style. He brought forward historical documents to prove that the 9 day festival was celebrated in the region earlier but was discontinued by the ‘peshwas’ during their rule. Even today, khandke chawl in dadar hold celebrations of Navratri as per maharastrian tradition.
PRABHODHANKAR AND UNIFICATION OF MAHARASHTRA
He played a pivotal role in the Samyukta Maharashtra movement literally meaning ‘movement for unification of Maharashtra’. He is credited for bringing individuals, groups and political parties of different and disparate ideologies under a single umbrella to achieve the larger objective. Upon the successful culmination of the movement, Prabhodhankar withdrew from all public movements. He is thus considered amongst the handful of people who are credited with changing not just the history but also the geography of Maharashtra.
On 20 th November 1973, Prabhodhankar left for heavenly abode. Lakhs of people had joined his funeral procession. Masses had turned in similar numbers only for Babasaheb Ambedkar in the past. For the man who considered shoes and slippers lying outside his home as his wealth, Prabhodhankar’s life of fulfillment came to a halt at the age of 90.