Rajaram Amrut Bhalerao

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Dr Rajaram Amrut Bhalerao
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Died21 February 2020
Alma materFellowship of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons
  • Surgeon
  • Patron of Marathi theatre

Dr Rajaram Amrut Bhalerao Marathi: डॉ. राजाराम बाळ भालेराव; (1933 – 21 February 2020) was a surgeon and patron of Marathi theatre responsible for promoting and reviving Marathi literature and culture in India and abroad.[1]

Medical career

Dr Bhalerao completed his Bachelor of Medicine MBBS training in India and then completed his Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons (FRCS) in London.[2] In 1965, he began practising surgery at the King Edward Memorial Hospital and King Edward Memorial Hospital in Mumbai.[1] He remained there till 1985, serving as Professor and Head of Department of Surgery.[3] He was later Head of Department of Surgery and Director – Strategy & Medical Planning at P.D. Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai.[3][4] A specialist in gastroenterology and liver disease, he was a recipient of the Dr. B. C. Roy Award.[5][3]

Contributions to Marathi theatre

In 1935, Dr Bhalerao's father, Dr A N Bhalerao founded the Mumbai Marathi Sahitya Sangh, a cultural organisation devoted to reviving Marathi theatre.[1] The junior Dr Bhalerao started acting on stage in 1942.[4] Years later, he would serve as the Chief Secretary of the organisation his father founded and lead it for over half a century.[1][2] The Mumbai Marathi Sahitya Sangh was one of the founding members of the All India Marathi Association, reponsible for taking Marathi literature and drama to audiences in America, Dubai and Singapore.[4] In 1964, the Mumbai Marathi Sahitya Sangh built a new auditorium modeled after London's The Old Vic in Kelewadi, Girgaon.[1] In 2013, Dr Bhalerao gave the space to house the Drama School Mumbai – rent-free the first year – where it still operates (as of December 2020).[5] Dr Bhalerao stewarded the theatre troupe that staged C T Khanolkar’s Ajab Nyay Vartulacha (अजब न्याय वर्तुळाचा) – a Marathi adaption of Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle – becoming the first play in an Indian language to be staged outside India when it was performed at the Festspiele in East Berlin and Zurich in 1974.[1] The play was directed by Vijaya Mehta in collaboration with Fritz Bennewitz.[1] Dr Bhalerao focused on reviving old Marathi plays, adaptations and translations for modern audiences. Prominent examples include:[3]

  • P L Deshpande's 1952 film Ammaldar (अंमलदार) – based on Nikolai Gogol's Inspector General
  • The works of Honaji Bala
  • Kusumagraj's Marathi adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth as Rajmukut (राजमुकुट; trans: 'The Royal Crown')
  • Stage adaptation of the 1967 Marathi film Sant Gora Kumbhar about the eponymous saint

He sat on several literature and theatre committees appointed by the government of Maharashtra.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Phukan, Vikram (2020-02-28). "Bal Bhalerao 1933-2020: A patron of the arts". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "डॉ. बाळ भालेराव यांचे निधन". Loksatta (in मराठी). 2020-02-22. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "डॉ. राजाराम उर्फ बाळ भालेराव यांचे निधन". Maharashtra Times (in मराठी). Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Dr. Rajaram Amrut Bhalerao is The Guiding Marshal". www.hindujahospital.com. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Feb 22, Mumbai Mirror / Updated:; 2020; Ist, 09:16. "Dr Rajaram A Bhalerao (1933-2020): Theatre's original Marathi manoos". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 2020-12-28.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)

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