N. G. Chandavarkar

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Sir Narayan Ganesh Chandavarkar
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Born2 December 1855
Died14 May 1923
Nationality Indian
Statue at Sir N. G. Chandavarkar in Convocation Hall, University of Mumbai. Mumbai University convocation hall photo 16.JPG
Statue at Sir N. G. Chandavarkar in Convocation Hall, University of Mumbai.

Sir Narayan Ganesh Chandavarkar (Konkani : नारायण गणेश चन्दावरकर)(2 December 1855 – 14 May 1923) was an early Indian National Congress politician and Hindu reformer. He was regarded by some as the "leading Hindu reformer of western India" [1]

Konkani language Indo-Aryan language spoken in India

Konkani is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by Konkani people along the western coast of India. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages mentioned in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution and the official language of the Indian state of Goa. The first Konkani inscription is dated 1187 A.D. It is a minority language in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu.

Indian National Congress Major political party in India

The Indian National Congress(pronunciation ) is a political party in India with widespread roots. Founded in 1885, it was the first modern nationalist movement to emerge in the British Empire in Asia and Africa. From the late 19th century, and especially after 1920, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, Congress became the principal leader of the Indian independence movement. Congress led India to independence from Great Britain, and powerfully influenced other anti-colonial nationalist movements in the British Empire.


Early life

Narayan Ganesh Chandavarkar was born in Honavar in the Bombay Presidency on 2 December 1855. His maternal uncle was Shamrao Vithal Kaikini, another notable reformer from the Gouda Saraswat Brahmin community. [2] He served as a Dakshina Fellow in Elphinstone College for some time before earning a law degree in 1881. Shortly before the Indian National Congress was founded in 1885, N. G. Chandavarkar went to England as a member of the three-man delegation. The group was sent to educate public opinion about India right before general elections took place in England. [3] G.L. Chandavarkar writes

Bombay Presidency Province in British India

The Bombay Presidency, also known as Bombay and Sind from 1843 to 1936 and the Bombay Province, was an administrative subdivision (presidency) of British India. Headquartered in the city of Bombay, at its greatest extent, the presidency included the Konkan, Nashik and Pune divisions of the present-day Indian state of Maharashtra; Ahmedabad, Anand, Bharuch, Gandhinagar, Kheda, Panchmahal and Surat districts of the present-day state of Gujarat; Bagalkot, Belagavi, Bijapur, Dharwad, Gadag, and Uttara Kannada districts of the present-day state of Karnataka; the Sindh province of present-day Pakistan; the Aden Colony, and the Khuriya Muriya Islands.

Goud Saraswat Brahmin Hindu Brahmin community in India and a part of the larger Saraswat Brahmin community

GoudSaraswat Brahmins are a Hindu Brahmin community in India and a part of the larger Saraswat Brahmin community. They belong to the Pancha (five) Gauda Brahmana groups. They are popularly referred to by the acronym GSB. They primarily speak Konkani as their mother tongue.

Elphinstone College institution of higher education affiliated to the University of Mumbai

Elphinstone College is an institution of higher education affiliated to the University of Mumbai. Established in 1856, it is one of the oldest colleges of the University of Mumbai. It is reputed for producing luminaries like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Virchand Gandhi, Badruddin Tyabji, Pherozshah Mehta, Nanabhai Haridas, Kashinath Trimbak Telang, Jamsetji Tata and for illustrious professors that includes Dadabhai Naoroji. It is further observed for having played a key role in spread of Western education in the Bombay Presidency.


He was the vice chancellor of the university of Bombay.He was elected the president of the annual session of the Indian National Congress in 1900 and one year later he was promoted to the high bench at the Bombay High Court. [4] He took a break from politics for the next twelve years and devoted his time to the judicial system and various social groups till 1913. The main social group he worked with was the Prarthana Samaj ("Prayer Society"). He took the leadership reins from Mahadev Govind Ranade after the death of the latter in 1901. [5] The organization was inspired by the Brahmo Samaj and was involved in the modernization of Hindu society. [6]

Bombay High Court High Court of Judicature at Mumbai

Bombay High Court is one of the oldest High Courts of India. It is located in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Its jurisdiction covers the states of Maharashtra and Goa, and the Union Territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. The High Court has regional branches at Nagpur and Aurangabad in Maharashtra and Panaji, the capital of Goa.

Prarthana Samaj, or "Prayer Society" in Sanskrit, was a movement for religious and social reform in Bombay, India, based on earlier reform movements. Prarthana Samaj was founded by the Dadoba p. Tarkhadkar Brother Atmaram Pandurang in 1867 when Kesab Chandra sen visited Maharashtra, with an aim to make people believe in one God and worship only one God. It became popular after Mahadev Govind Ranade joined. The main reformers were the intellectuals who advocated reforms of the social system of the Hindus.It was spread to the southern India by noted Telugu reformer and writer, Kandukuri Veeresalingam.

Mahadev Govind Ranade Indian scholar, social reformer and author

Mahadev Govind Ranade was an Indian scholar, social reformer, justice and author. He was a founding member of the Indian National Congress party and owned several designations as member of the Bombay legislative council, member of the finance committee at the centre, and judge of the Bombay High Court, Maharashtra.

Chandavarkar was knighted in the 1910 New Year Honours List. [7]

Return to politics

He returned to the realm of Indian politics in 1914. A schism in the Congress in 1918 came to separate the organization into two camps. Chandavarkar became the head of the All-India Moderates Conference in 1918 along with Surendranath Banerjea and Dinshaw Wacha. In 1920 "he presided over the public meeting held in Bombay to protest against the report of the Hunter Committee on the Jallianwala Bagh atrocities which was appointed by the Government of India." [3] Mahatma Gandhi was inspired by this to move a resolution on the topic. Later, on Chandavarkar's advice, Gandhi called off his Civil Disobedience campaign in 1921.[ citation needed ]

The politics of India works within the framework of the country's constitution. India is a federal parliamentary democratic republic in which the President of India is the head of state and the Prime Minister of India is the head of government. India follows the dual polity system, i.e. a double government that consists of the central authority at the centre and states at the periphery. The constitution defines the organisational powers and limitations of both central and state governments, and it is well recognised, rigid and considered supreme; i.e. the laws of the nation must confirm to it.

Jallianwala Bagh Historic site in India

Jallianwala Bagh is a public garden in Amritsar, and houses a memorial of national importance, established in 1951 by the Government of India, to commemorate the massacre of peaceful celebrants including unarmed women and children by British occupying forces, on the occasion of the Punjabi New Year (Baisakhi) on 13 April 1919 in the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. Colonial British Raj sources identified 379 fatalities and estimated about 1100 wounded. Civil Surgeon Dr. Smith indicated that there were 1,526 casualties. The true figures of fatalities are unknown, but are very likely to be many times higher than the official figure of 379.

Mahatma Gandhi Pre-eminent leader of Indian nationalism during British-ruled India

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist, who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India's independence from British Rule, and in turn inspire movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahātmā, first applied to him in 1914 in South Africa, is now used throughout the world.

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  1. 1 2 Modern Religious Movements in India by J. N. Farquhar - Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 43, No. 2, Book Review Supplement (Jun., 1975), pp. 349-351
  2. The Origin and Spread of Gauda Saraswats - Part I - Saraswat Vol. 1 No.1 by Suryakant Kamat
  3. 1 2 3 Sir Narayan Ganesh Chandavarkar - Congress Sandesh
  4. "Former Justices". Bombay High Court, Bombay. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  5. Prarthana Samaj - Encyclopædia Britannica
  6. Hinduism - The Essence of India - Hindubooks
  7. London Gazette, 21 January 1910