Noted historian and Padma Vibhushan awardee Balwant Moreshwar Purandare, popularly known as Babasaheb Purandare, died at a Pune hospital on Monday after a brief illness, a doctor said.
Purandare (99), an authority on the Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, was admitted to the city's Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital three days ago and was being treated for pneumonia.
He was on ventilator support in the hospital's intensive care unit after his health deteriorated on Sunday. He had been in an extremely critical condition since then, the doctor said.
Purandare breathed his last shortly after 5 am on Monday, a statement from the hospital said.
Many leaders from across the political spectrum condoled the politician's demise.
"I am pained beyond words. The demise of Shivshahir Babasaheb Purandare leaves a major void in the world of history and culture. It is thanks to him that the coming generations will get further connected to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. His other works will also be remembered," Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote.
"Shivshahir Babasaheb Purandare was witty, wise and had rich knowledge of Indian history. I had the honour of interacting with him very closely over the years. A few months back, had addressed his centenary year programme," he wrote.
"With the demise of Shivshahir Babasaheb Purandare, Maharashtra lost its lustre in the field of literature and art," NCP chief Sharad Pawar wrote.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also expressed deep grief over the historian's demise. He also announced a state funeral for the historian and author
Maharashtra minister Dilip Walse Patil wrote, "The death of Shivshahir Babasaheb Purandare at the age of 100 is tragic. Shivshahir, who brought the era of Shivchhatrapati before the eyes of common people with his passionate eloquent speech, lost today. A heartfelt tribute to him!"
"Satisfied, I sang Shiv Shakti's song, Sharade. Ma. Punya Bhushan, Maharashtra Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Shrimant Shivshahir Babasaheb Purandare, a historical festival merged into infinity this morning. My heartfelt tribute," Ex- Maharashtra minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule wrote.
"A heartfelt tribute to the revered Shivshahir Babasaheb Purandare," Maharashtra Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari tweeted.
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