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. He was also known as GoPu (his Marathi initials), or GPD.

Born in Nashik, he taught at the Center for East Asian Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi for many years. He lived in Pune after retirement with his wife Kalindi, a women's movement activist. She pre-deceased him in 2009. He wrote a column in the Economic and Political Weekly, Mumbai, for about four decades.

He received the Maharashtra State Award for his collective work in 1977, and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for playwriting in 1996.

His collection of essays on culture and politics, Dialectics of Defeat: Problems of Culture in Post-Colonial India (Seagull, Kolkata) was published 2006), and he has recently published a collection of poems, Ityadi Ityadi Kavita (Etc. etc. poems). He was also the editor of the anthology of Indian plays in translation, Modern Indian Drama,[2] published by Sahitya Akademi, 2004.

The U.S. Library of Congress has acquired twelve of his books, including a few on Chinese foreign policy. Some of his works have been translated into English.

He suffered a brain hemorrhage in July 2013 and was in hospital in Pune. He was brought home a few days before he died on 16 October 2013. He was survived by daughter Ashwini, an economist at the Delhi School of Economics, and son Sudhanva, a publisher with LeftWord Books and a theatre activist with Jana Natya Manch, Delhi.

Notable plays[edit]

Some of his plays, in English translation, are available from Seagull books,


  1. ^
  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. ^ PHEROZE L.VINCENT (31 August 2012). "A journey of questions". Delhi, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 2013-07-13.