Mahadev Govind Ranade

Indian scholar, social reformer and author (1842-1901)

Justice Mahadev Govind Ranade (January 18, 1842January 16, 1901) was a renowned Indian jurist, scholar, a moderate social and religious reformer, and writer. He was one of the founding members of the Indian National Congress. In his judicial career, he rose from the rank of a Presidency magistrate in 1871 to Justice of the Bombay High Court in 1893 and distinguished himself. He was also member of several committees of the government and a member of the Bombay legislative council. His social work in public service were oriented towards reform in India under the British Raj.

Statue of Mahadev Govind Ranade

Quotes edit

Verinder Grover (1990). Mahadev Govind Ranade. Deep & Deep Publications. pp. 487–. ISBN 978-81-7100-245-0. 

  • We must bear our cross…not because it is sweet to suffer, but because the pain and suffering are as nothing compared with the greatness of the issues involved.
    • Speaking on issues of two duties of the two ideals of conduct and the two forms of duty quoted in page=488.
  • ...from the madding crowd’s ignobale strife.
    • He moved on a plane of his own far removed, quoted in page=489
  • What obstacle is there apart from the religious one. There is plenty to do in the world without it.
    • Quoted in page=102
  • This is the land of religion, Be it be for good or for evil, we cannot do without religion. Religious thoughts are in our blood. If we try to flee from it, it will pursue us.
    • Quoted in page=102
  • We are but artless folk and not expert in rhythm, time, and tune, but that does not matter. He for whom we sing our hymns understands them all, and he pays no attention to our deficiencies of execution.
    • His comment to his wife On his daily prayers he would sings devotional songs out of tune and metre. Quoted in page=104
  • The dreary alternative of agnosticism, which the young students are taught to accept as the final word of science on the grave mysteries of life and thought, and man’s hopes of personal communion with God are laughed away to make room for an inane faith in evolution and the law of collective development and progress....Hindu students especially need the strengthening influence which faith in God, and in Conscience as His voice in the human heart alone, can give. The national mind can not live in agnosticism. The experiment was tried once on a large scale by the greatest moral teacher of this or any other age. The failure of Buddhism is a warning that such teaching can have no hold on the national thought.
    • Religion had important place in his life is indicated in his admonishing Professor Selby (also a professor in the Deccan College) notes on a published ”Notes of Lectures on Butelr’s Anaology and Sermons" quoted in pages=105-106
  • All the love that in Christian lands circles round the life of death of Christ Jesus has been in India freely poured upon the intense realization of the every day presence of the Supreme God in the heart in a way more convincing than eyes or ears or the sense of touch can realize. This constitutes the glory of the saints and it is a possession which is treasured by our people, high and low, men and women, as a solace in life beyond value.
    • The tone and colour of his religious life reflected resemblance to that of Evangelical Christians. Quoted in pages=106-07
  • We have above all to learn what is to bear and forbear-to bear ridicule, insults, even personal injuries at times, and forebear from returning abuse for abuse. In the words of the Prophet of Nazareth, we have to take up the cross, not because it is pleasant to be persecuted, but because the pain and injury are as nothing by the side of the principle for which they are endured.
    • In one of his lectures delivered at Ferguson College in a social conference of the Congress as a counter to the one held by the extremist Tilak group. Quoted in pages= 113

At his 100th Anniversary lecture delivered in 1943 on Ranade, Gandhi & Jinnah by Dr. Ambedkar edit

Ranade Gandhi & Jinnah. Columbia Education. Retrieved on 5 December 2013.

  • I profess implicit faith in two articles of my creed. This country of ours is the true land of promise. This race of ours is the chosen race.
  • The preamble to the Regulation says that women were employed wholesale to entice and take away the wives or female children for purposes of prostitution, and it was common practice among husbands and fathers to desert their families and children. Public conscience there was none, and in the absence of conscience it was futile to expect moral indignation against the social wrongs. Indeed the Brahmins were engaged in defending every wrong for the simple reason that they lived on them. They defended Untouchability which condemned millions to the lot of the helot. They defended caste, they defended female child marriage and they defended enforced widowhood—the two great props of the Caste system. They defended the burning of widows, and they defended the social system of graded inequality with its rule of hypergamy which led the Rajputs to kill in their thousands the daughters that were born to them. What shames! What wrongs! Can such a Society show its face before civilized nations? Can such a society hope to survive?
    • In support of the Regulation (VII of 1819) to put a stop to this moral degeneracy such were the questions which Ranade asked. He concluded that on only one condition it could be saved—namely, rigorous social reform. Quoted in Ranade Gandhi & Jinnah
  • You cannot be liberal by halves. You cannot be liberal in politics and conservative in religion. The heart and the head must go together. You cannot cultivate your intellect, enrich your mind, enlarge the sphere of your political rights and privileges, and at the same time keep your hearts closed and cramped. It is an idle dream to expect men to remain enchained and enshackled in their own superstition and social evils, while they are struggling hard to win rights and privileges from their rulers. Before long these vain dreamers will find their dreams lost.
    • He warned his opponents against playing the part of Political Radicals and Social Tories. In clear and unmistakable terms. Quoted in Ranade Gandhi & Jinnah

About Ranade edit

  • I think, my Lord, if ever an Indian in these days deserved to have a memorial voted to him by his loving ,greatfull and sorrow-stricken countrymen, unquestionably that Indian was the late Mr Ranade.
    • G.K.Gokhale on issue of erecting a memorial statue for Ranade quoted in "Mahadev Govind Ranade", page=487
  • At about 4 AM....I was suddenly roused by some singing in the carriage, and, on opening my eyes, I saw Mr. Ranade sitting up and singing two abhangs of Tukaram, again and again and striking his hands together by way of accompaniment. The voice by no means musical, but the fervor with which he was singing was so great that I felt filled through and through and I too, could not help sitting up and listening.
    • Noted by Gokhale who was traveling with him by train. Quoted quoted in "Mahadev Govind Ranade" in page=104
  • It is no exaggeration to say that younger men who come in personal contact with him feeling as in a holy presence, not only uttering nothing base, but afraid of even of thinking unworthy thoughts, while in his company.
    • Gohkale quoted in "Mahadev Govind Ranade" page =105
  • Thought that the discourses were everything – the place where they were delivered was nothing. He wanted his ideas to reach his countrymenand he had no objection to going wherever they were assembled, provided he got an opportunity to speak to them.
    • Gokhale's observation on Ranade’s preachings as a moderate quoted in "Mahadev Govind Ranade" page =116
  • This gem of learning belongs not merely to the Brahman class and to Poona city; and asking “Who is to be called the true people’s leader, if not Ranade?"
    • Public adulation after hearing his Vote of Thanks explaining his views of Hinduism that was delivered after Dr. Penscott had given a series of lectures on Christianity. Quoted in "Mahadev Govind Ranade" page =107
  • Profound and sympathetic judge possessed of the highest perspective faculties, and inspired with an intense desire to do right. His opinion was of the greatest value to his colleagues, and his decisions will stand in the future as a monument of his erudition and learning.
    • Views of Chief Justice Sir Laurence Jenkins on Ranade’s seven years tenure as justice in the High Court.Quoted in "Mahadev Govind Ranade" page =108
  • His judgements are like learned essays on Hindu society being based on consideration of the Sruti-Smriti, the Puranas, History, and the most important English Judgments'
    • Quoted in "Mahadev Govind Ranade" page =109

External links edit

Wikipedia has an article about: