Renowned Marathi intellectual Y.D. Phadke dead

by Mudassir Rizwan

Mumbai : Renowned Marathi author, historian and intellectual, Yashwant D. Phadke passed away Friday at Dadar, central Mumbai, while watching a play. He was 77.
Phadke collapsed while watching a play at Shivaji Mandir. He was rushed to the Sushrusha Hospital nearby, but was pronounced dead on admission.

He is survived by his wife, a doctor son, a daughter and grandchildren.
A former professor of international politics at the University of Mumbai, Phadke authored several books on the history of Maharashtra, the constitution of India, biographies of freedom fighters and social reformers.

Phadke had earlier survived three heart attacks and undergone an angioplasty. He will be cremated late Friday night at the Shivaji Park crematorium, central Mumbai.
His neighbour in Bandra's Patrakar Nagar, D.K. Raikar said Phadke "wrote with a rare courage, and tackled sensitive topics with finesse and an intellectual grip".

"His writings were backed by the power of conviction. Once convinced over any issue, he would stick to it, irrespective of the consequences," Raikar, editor of Lokmat group of Newspapers, told IANS after hearing of Phadke's death.

Phadke, an acknowledged authority in history and politics, presided over the 73rd Belgaum Marathi Sahitya Sammelan (literary conference) in 2000.

Phadke's works include six published volumes of the eight he had planned on the history of Maharashtra, the constitution of India and the Right to Information Act, and biographies of Subhash Chandra Bose and Lokmanya Bal Ganagadhar Tilak.

He had penned a collection of short stories during his school days at his hometown Solapur.
Over the years, he wrote eight books in English and many in Marathi. He also contributed columns to various newspapers.

Phadke was working on the compilation of the history of the 20th century Maharashtra.
Six books of the series, for which he collaborated closely with former prime minister Morarji Desai, who was also the chief minister of Bombay state comprising present day Maharashtra and Gujarat, have already been printed, chronicling till 1960.

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