Gopal Ganesh Agarkar

Gopal Ganesh Agarkar

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Category: Social Work

Gopal Ganesh Agarkar Profile

  • Name:
  • Gopal Ganesh Agarkar
  • Born:
  • July 14, 1856
  • Died:
  • June 17, 1895

Gopal Ganesh Agarkar Biography

Gopal Ganesh Agarkar was a social reformer educationist and thinker from Maharashtra who lived in 19th century. He was a close associate of Lokmanya Tilak and was the co-founder of many educational institutions like New English School, the Deccan Education Society and Fergusson College. He was the first editor of the weekly Kesari, the prominent Marathi weekly in those days started by Lokmanya Tilak in 1881. He has also started a magazine Sudharak, where he remained as its editor. He was one of the greatest educationalist and social reformers of the country, though he lived only for 38 years. For many people in public service, Agarkar is regarded as a role model. His public life was only 15 years, yet his contributions are too huge to count.


Gopal Ganesh Agarkar was born on 14 July 1856 in Tembhu of Satara district. He did his primary education from Karad. In 1878, he got his B. A. degree and completed MA in 1880. He started an English medium school in Pune the same year. Agarkar was a founding member of the Deccan Education Society in 1884. He founded famous Fergusson college the next year. Though he was the first editor of noted magazine, Kesari, due to differences between his and Tilak’s ideologies, he left editorship. He started his own periodical Sudharak which stood against social evils like untouchability and caste system. He supported widow re-marriage too. Yet he allowed his wife to follow Hindi traditions as she wished.


Tilak tended toward extreme views while Agarkar tended toward the moderate. But both resulted in contrasting opinions. When Tilak gave preference to political reforms, Gopal stood with social reforms and gave it more priority. Thus conflict in their ideologies resulted in an early spit and Gopal too, left this world on 17 June 1895 so unexpectedly at a young age of 38 with many unfinished tasks.

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Updated: September 23, 2017

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