Justice MG Ranade: Life, Achievements, and Contribution

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MG Ranade

An Indian nationalist, social reformer, scholar, and jurist, Mahadev Govind Ranade AKA Justice Ranade has been an all-rounder in Indian history. He is one of the Citpavan Brahmans of India who later turned out to become the judge of the Bombay court which was considered a rare thing in British India. MG Ranade is popularly referred to as the ‘Nyaymurti Ranade’ because of all the contributions he has made to the nation in terms of enlightening the population.  

Ranade is one of the eminent reformers because he actively opposed the evils of society and tried to bring changes in society by introducing reforms like Prarthana Samaj, Arya Samaj, Brahmo Samaj, widow remarriage, child marriage, etc. 

Hon’ble Judge MG Ranade Source- The Indian Portrait

Overview of Judge Ranade’s Life 
BirthplaceNiphad, Nashik, Maharashtra
Death placePoona (Now Pune)
Social Reforms 1. Widow marriage 
2. Child marriage 
3. Purdah system
4. Women’s rights 
5. Prarthana Samaj
6. Arya Samaj
7. Brahmo Samaj
SchoolsMarathi school, Kolhapur
Elphinstone College, Bombay
CollegeBombay University 
BooksRise of Maratha Power
FoundedDeccan Educational Society
SupportedIndian National Congress
Hindu-Muslim unity

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Early Life of MG Ranade 

Ranade was born on 18 Jan 1842 to a family of Chitapavan Brahmin in Niphad Taluka of Nashik District of Maharashtra. MG Ranade’s father was the pastor in the place where he was born. He was also known as Justice MG Ranade, or Madhavrao, his full name is Mahadev Govind Ranade. 

  • Schooling- He started his schooling at the Marathi language-based school in Kolhapur and later moved to an English medium school. When he moved to the latter school, Elphinstone College, Bombay, he started his career at the age of only 14 years. He studied with other renowned personalities like reformist RG Bhandarkar. 
  • Graduation- For graduation in 1859, he moved to Mumbai and as a matter of fact, he was a student of one of the earliest batches of the Mumbai University (Erstwhile Bombay University). He completed his graduation as a BA student. Post this, he pursued his LLB and got a degree for the same in 1866. He was a member of the founder group of the Deccan Educational Society and founded the Indian National Congress.

Journey of Becoming Judge Ranade

After two years of his LLB, 1868 he began his career as a professor at Elphinstone College, Mumbai. Later in 1871, he started his career as a Presidency Magistrate in the Bombay Small Cause Court wherein he joined the group of four Bombay Small Cage Court judges. 

Moreover, he was one of the principal judges of the Poona Small Cage Court, in 1884. The very next year, in 1885, he became a part of the Legislative Council. He has held quite prestigious positions in his time.  

This was a step closer for him to become what he was famously known for, Judge Ranade. He was promoted as the judge within 14 years of entering this court. Later in 1893, he became the judge of the Bombay High Court. Throughout his career in the court, he brought different reforms in different areas. 

Interesting Fact- He believed in the mantra ‘Humanize, Equalize, and Spiritualize.’

Achievements and Contribution to Indian Economy

MG Ranade has achieved a lot in his lifetime which begins right from his graduation. Following are the achievements and his valuable contribution to the Indian economy. 

  • His education has allowed him to focus on English works that need to be translated into the local language of different places throughout the country and that should be a mandatory part of the university curriculum. He has written, proofread, and published, journals in English and Marathi. 
  • MG Ranade was the central figure in the creation and promotion of Prarthana Samaj, Poona Sarvajanik Sabha, and Vaktruttvottejak Sabha. 
  • Among all of his achievements, one of the most prominent is the Maharashtra girls’ school in 1885 which he opened with the help of Vaman Abaji Modak and Dr. R. G. Bhandarkar. 
  • The committee of finance appointed Ranade in the year 1897 to join as the official member of it. Meanwhile, the British government acknowledged all his world by rewarding him with the title ‘Companion of the Order of India.’ The act of Deccan Agriculturalists was taken under MG Ranade as one of the chief judges. 
  • In his lifespan, he has advocated against widow ill-treatment, child marriages, caste system, and raised his voice for widow remarriage and women’s education. He showed interest in the promotion of small-scale indigenous businesses for the increase in the economy. Furthermore, he has been able to publish a good number of books on the Indian economy, one of the prominent books that he has published is ‘Rise of the Maratha Power.”
Credit- Amazon

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Personal Life of Judge MG Ranade

Mahadev Govind Ranade has tried to bridge the gap between the East and West concepts of society. His personal life has further added to his reforms. 

  • Marriage- Mahadev Govind Ranade got married at the early age of 12 with his first wife. However, his wife died which is why he had to marry again a second time to Ramabai. However, his second marriage did open the door for criticism of his reforms.
  • Death– Justice MG Ranade died on January 16, 1901, completing almost 59 years in Pune. Ranade’s wife carried forward all the reforms that he had been working for. Later on, she became a rights activist, one of the early women to join this in the 19th century. 

Interesting Fact- MG Ranade was the guru of Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Bal Gangadhar Tilak. 

To sum up, Justice Ranade has been able to contribute his level to the economic development of the nation. He recognized the need to increase education in Indian society which can ultimately lead to increasing the economy of the same. Along with being a nationalist, he was a reformer, economist, scholar, and jurist. 


What was Ranade called?

He was famously referred to as the ‘Nayaymurti Ranade.’

Why is Ranade called the ‘Father of Indian economics?’

He insisted the British government bring ‘industrialization’ and ‘state welfare programs’ which was unsuccessful in the end. 

Why is MG Ranade known as the Justice Ranade?

Ranade is a nationalist, scholar, social reformer, and jurist. He was appointed as the judge in the Bombay court making him famous as ‘Judge Ranade.’

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