Eminent Marathi playwright and intellectual Govind Purushottam Deshpande died at 8.15 p.m. on 16 October 2013, following a long illness. He had a brain haemorrhage on 15 July, and lapsed into a coma. He never regained consciousness after. He died at home, peacefully. He was 75. His wife Kalindi, a leading activist of the women’s movement, died in 2009. He is survived by daughter Ashwini and son Sudhanva, granddaughter Ketaki, as well as brothers Dilip and Vikas, and sisters Aruna Sambrani and Jyoti Subhash.
Govind Deshpande, fondly known as Go.Pu. in Marathi theatre circles, was the author of several well-known plays such as Udhwastha Dharmashala, Andhar Yatra, Raste, and Satyashodhak. Many of his plays were translated and performed in several languages, besides Marathi.
Prof. Deshpande taught International Affairs with specialisation in China studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi till his retirement in 2004. He then shifted to Pune, where he lived till the end.
He was a prolific columnist and commentator, and wrote a column in the prestigious journal Economic and Political Weekly for over three decades. He edited a collection of Jotirao Phule’s writings in English translation for LeftWord Books, Selected Writings of Jotirao Phule. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and, most recently, the Tanvir Sanman. He served on several committees, including the National School of Drama Society.
His body will be kept at the Sane Guruji Smarak on Sinhagad Road from 9 to 10.30 a.m. on 17 October, and he will be cremated at 11.00 a.m. at the Vaikunth Crematorium at Navi Peth in Pune.