Vijayshankar Morarji Vasu (Gujarati: વિજયશંકર મુરારજી વાસુ)
26 March 1909
|Died||10 July 1992|
|Other names||Himachal (Gujarati: હિમાચલ), Soham (Gujarati: સોહમ્), Chanakya (Gujarati: ચાણક્ય), Muktanand VishwaYatri (Gujarati: મુક્તાનંદ વિશ્વયાત્રી), Pandit Kaushik Sharma (Gujarati: પંડિત કૌશિક શર્મા), V. M. Vasu (Gujarati: વિ. મુ. વાસુ), Goswami Shree Vijayraiji (Gujarati: ગોસ્વામી શ્રી વિજયરાયજી), Vijaytung (Gujarati: વિજયતુંગ), Vachaspati (Gujarati: વાચસ્પતિ), Indradhanu (Gujarati: ઇન્દ્રધનુ), VasantVijay (Gujarati: વસંતવિજય)|
|Education||Bhavsingh High School, Porbandar; Mumbai University|
|Occupation||Journalist and author|
|Employer||Janmabhumi, Parkruti Magazine|
|Known for||Pioneering science journalism in Gujarati|
|Children||Nagendra Vijay, Bhardvaj Vijay|
Vijaygupta Maurya was born Vijayshankar Murarji Vasu in Porbandar (now in Gujarat, India) in 1909. He completed his high school education at Bhavsingh High School in Porbandar. He studied law in Bombay (now Mumbai) and returned Porbandar in 1933 to start his legal practice. Four years later, he was elevated to the position of a judge. Due to his passion for bird watching, he wrote articles on birds for Prakriti magazine.
In 1944, Indian independence activist Vasant Avsare came to Porbandar and asked Vijaygupta Maurya to fight his case. However, as Vijaygupta Maurya was already at the position of judge, he could not do so. This prompted Vijaygupta Maurya to resign from his position and took Avsare's case as a lawyer. This ended Vijaygupta Maurya's career as judge and he decided to stay in Mumbai. He found a job as a typist for the salary of Rs. 0.75 per month at Gordhandas ni Pedhi.
Career as Journalist and Writer
Between financial struggles, he wrote for Prakriti magazine. Few years later, he was invited to write for a Gujarati newspaper Janmabhumi. He wrote articles on birds and animals printed on the last page of Janambhumi Pravasi with limited space and eventually became an editor and writer of the whole page. He wrote on varied subjects including science, astronomy and biology.
In 1973, he left Janmabhumi Pravasi and became a freelancer writing for various magazines. He wrote several books during that time that included the theme of serving interesting information rolled up in stories as well as books based on true events. His career as a writer spanned over 46 years but he continued to struggle financially. During last years, he had several ailments including poor vision, back pain and the Parkinson's disease. After a long illness, he died on 10 July 1992.
His sons, Nagendra Vijay and Bhardvaj Vijay, were also popular science writers. Nagendra Vijay started writing at the age of 14 and pioneered the first Gujarati science magazine Scope and later Safari. His grandson, Harshal Pushkarna, is also popular science writer and currently heads Safari.
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