|Born||Balwant Moreshwar Purandare
July 29, 1922
|Children||Madhuri, Prasad, Amrut|
Balwant Moreshwar Purandare (बळवंत मोरेश्वर पुरंदरे)(born July 29, 1922, Pune) (नाग पंचमी), is a writer and theatre personality from Maharashtra, India. His works are mostly based on the events related to the life of Shivaji, the 17th-century founder of the Maratha Empire; as a result he is sometimes termed as Shiv-Shahir (शिव-शाहीर) ("Shivaji's bard"). He is mostly known for his popular play on Shivaji, Jaanta Raja (जाणता राजा) which was popular not only in Maharashtra but also in Andhra Pradesh and Goa. Purandare has also studied the history of the Peshwas of Pune. He is also known for his significant contribution along with Madhav Deshpande & Madhav Mehere as senior party leaders in the early 70's of Shiv Sena along with Bal Thackeray. In 2015, he was awarded with Maharashtra Bhushan Award, Maharashtra's highest civilian award. But controversies are in the air that he should not be awarded due to his obligatory remarks in his novels.
Purandare had started writing stories related to the period of Shivaji's reign at a very young age, which were later compiled and published in a book titled "Thingya" ("Sparks"). His other works include books titled Raja Shiva-Chatrapati (राजा शिवछत्रपती) and Kesari, and a book on life of Narayanrao Peshwa. But the most well-known of his works is the drama, Jaanata Raja, a widely popular play on Shivaji Maharaj published and first staged in 1985. Since then the drama has been staged over 864 times in 16 districts of Maharashtra, Agra, Delhi, Bhopal, and the United States. Originally written in Marathi, this work was later translated into Hindi. This drama is performed by over 200 artists, as well as elephants, camels and horses. Generally the performance of this drama begins around Diwali each year.
His wife, Nirmala Purandare, is a veteran social activist. She runs Vanasthali organisation in Pune. Her work for rural women,child development is renowned. Madhuri Purandare, his daughter, is a writer, painter and singer; she has written a book on Pablo Picasso. He has two sons: Amrut Purandare who has Editing Studio in Pune and Prasad Purandare. Prasad Purandare is a Marathi theater and film personality, with several Hindi films to his credit.
Maratha outfit that has been protesting against Purandare believes that he has sullied the reputation of Maratha warrior Shivaji through his writings. They also, protested when Maharashtra government decided to award Maharashtra Bhushan to the writer.
- "Kalidas Samman to Shri Purandare". Department of Public Relations, Madhya Pradesh Government. November 20, 2007. Retrieved 16 Dec 2011.
- Śālinī Pāṭīla (1987). Maharani Tarabai of Kolhapur, c. 1675-1761 A.D. S. Chand & Co. ISBN 978-81-219-0269-4. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- "Purandare awarded "Maharashtra Bhushan".". Indian Express. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
- "Janta Raja' to be staged in the US: Baba Purandare". November 2, 2007. Retrieved 16 Dec 2011.