G. P. Deshpande

Born in 1938 in Nasik, Maharashtra, Shri Govind Purushottam Deshpande obtained his Master’s degree in history from Pune University and took his Ph.D. in Chinese studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. He also studied for a diploma in Chinese language at the University of Hong Kong. A teacher by profession, Govind Deshpande has made a significant contribution to contemporary Indian theatre as a playwright. Uddhwasta Dharmashala, his first play, has been translated and performed in many Indian languages and in English. This play and his later works are characterized by a political questioning, sparked off by tension between conflicting ideas and thought- processes. He has very strong diction to serve as vehicle for his polemics, and has been a trenchant critic of theatre which pays scant regard to language. Most of his nine plays, including Raste and Vishnugupta Chanakya, are known for their portrayal of strong women characters. Besides play- writing, Govind Deshpande has written some episodes for Shyam Benegal’s serial Bharat: Ek Khoj and dialogues for Govind Nihalani’s film Drohakaal. He has twice received the Utkrishta Vangmaya Nismriti Puraskar conferred by the Government of Maharashtra and has been awarded the Jaywant Dalvi Smriti Puraskar in 1997. Shri Govind Purushottam Deshpande receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Marathi theatre as a playwright.