Vishwanath Kashinath Rajwade: Historian Extraordinaire

OV Digital Desk

Vishwanath Kashinath Rajwade (12 July 1863 – 31 December 1926), popularly known as Itihasacharya Rajwade, was a historian, scholar, writer, commentator, and orator from Maharashtra, India. He composed a famous History Grant called ‘History of Indian Marriage Institutions’ (Marathi). He was also a Sanskrit linguist, as evidenced by the works ‘Rajwade Metallurgical’ and ‘Unlighted Sanskrit language’.

Life and Career

Vishwanath Kashinath Rajwade was born on 12 July 1863, in Maharashtra, India. He lost his father when he was three. After that, he moved to Wadgaon near his uncle near Pune. Rajwada got his primary education at Shishwar Peth’s school in Pune. He received his secondary education at Baba Gokhale’s school, Vishnukant Chiplunkar’s New School, and later Mission School. In Bombay, he attended Elphinstone College for further education, but he couldn’t continue because of his wealth. Although Rajwade was never satisfied with the textbooks in a college course, Ramkrishna Gopal Bhandarkar, who was then a Professor at Pune’s Deccan College, and M.M . He learned a lot from scholars like Jhalkiikar.

In 1891, He passed the BA examination while studying history, economics, theology, ethics, political science, philosophy, logic, and sociology. After getting married in 1988, he started teaching at the New English School of Pune, but after the death of his wife, he quit.

He started a Marathi magazine called Bhashantar (meaning ‘translation’) in 1895 and translated works of Western philosophers and historians like Plato, Aristotle, and Edward Gibbon, along with Indian scholars like Shankaracharya in Marathi. At the same time, he started educating Marathi people about topics like the history of Marathas, the history of the world, the history of Marathi literature, and the grammar of Marathi and Sanskrit. During his lifetime, he collected many works and historical papers that he kept in the custody of the Bharat Itihas Sanshodhak Mandal founded by him in 1910, in Pune.

He wrote essays about the Indian marriage system from 1920-1923, and they were collected in the book ‘History of Indian Marriage Institution (History of Indian Marriage Institution) in 1926. He died on 31 December 1926, in India.

Read More: 31 December: Remembering Raj Narain on his Punya Tithi