Shakuntala Paranjpye

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Shakuntala Paranjpye in V. Shantaram's classic, Duniya Na Mane (1937).

Shakuntalā Parānjpye (17 January 1906 – 3 May 2000) was an Indian writer and a prominent social worker. She was a member of Maharashtra Legislative Council during 1958–64, and was a nominated member of Indian Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) during 1964–70 [1] .[2][3] In 1991, the Government of India awarded her the Padma Bhushan title in recognition of her pioneering work in the field of family planning since 1938.[4] The recent low population growth rate in Maharashtra is largely attributed to her work.[5]


Shakuntala Paranjpye was the daughter of Sir R. P. Paranjpye, who was India's first Senior Wrangler (Cambridge) (mathematics), an educationist, and India's High Commissioner to Australia during 1944–1947.[6]

Shakuntala studied for the Mathematical Tripos at Newnham College, Cambridge.[7] She graduated there in 1929. She received a Diploma in Education from London University the next year.[8]

Shakuntala worked in the 1930s with the International Labour Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.[9] In the 1930s and '40s, she also acted in some Marathi and Hindi movies. (See Acting below.) Her most noted role was in V. Shantaram's Hindi social classic, Duniyā Nā Māne. (This movie was remade in its Marathi version as Kunku.)

Shakuntala wrote many plays, sketches, and novels in Marathi. Some of her work was in English. (See Authorship below.)

A Hindi children's movie, Yeh Hai Chakkad Bakkad Bumbe Bo,[10] which was based on a Marathi story by Shakuntala was released in 2003.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Shakuntala was married for a short time to a Russian painter, Youra Sleptzoff. She had a daughter, Sai Paranjpye, by him in 1938.[6] Soon after Sai's birth, she divorced Youra, and reared Sai in her own father's household.

Sai Paranjpye is a noted Hindi movie director and screenwriter. She is known for her comedies and children's movies. In 2006, the Government of India awarded her the Padma Bhushan title in recognition of her artistic talents.[4]


Shakuntala had acting roles in the following movies:

Ganga Maiyya (1955)
Lokshahir Ram Joshi (1947)
Ramshastri (1944)
Jawani Ka Rang (1941)
Paisa (1941)
Stree (1938)
Duniya Na Mane (1937)
Jeevan Jyoti (1937)
Kunku (1937)
Sultana Chand Biwi (1937)
Bahadur Beti (1935)
Kali Waghan (1935)
Typist Girl (1935)
Bhakta Prahlad (1934)
Bhedi Rajkumar (1934)
Partha Kumar (1934)
Sairandhri (1933)


  • Three years in Australia, (English), Poona, 1951.[12]
  • Sense and nonsense. (English), New Delhi, Orient Longman, 1970.[1]
  • Kāhi Āmbat, Kāhi Goad, (Marathi), Pune, Śrīvidyā Prakāshan, 1979.
  • Desh-Videshichyā Lok-Kathā, (Marathi)


  1. ^ Members Of Rajya Sabha Since 1952 Rajya Sabha website.
  2. ^ Rajya Sabha website Nominated members
  4. ^ a b Padma Bhushan Awardees Shakuntala Pranjpye, 1991, Maharashtra, Social Work. Sai Paranjpye, Arts, Maharashtra, 2006.
  5. ^ Great Modern Women of India indianodysseys.
  6. ^ a b Sai Paranjpye at ASHA
  7. ^ Aparna Basu; Malavika Karlekar (2008). In So Many Words: Women's Life Experiences from Western and Eastern India. Routledge. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-415-46734-6. 
  8. ^ Shakuntala Profile Graduates of the University of Cambridge.
  9. ^ Sai speak! The Times of India,8 July 2002.
  10. ^ Yeh Hai Chakkad Bakkad Bumbe Bo on Internet Movie Database
  11. ^ yeh hai chakkad bakkad bumbe bo upperstall.
  12. ^ Three Years In Australia Item: 13460, booksandcollectibles.

External links[edit]