Prof. A.B. Gajendragadkar

Dajisaheb Tuljapurkar

S.M. Varde

C.V. Bawdekar

Bhaskarrao Jadhav

B.C. Sukthankar

R.D. Karve

K.C. Daundkar
The Beginning

Mumbai Marathi Sahitya Sangha – a leading organization in Mumbai ! It has proved its merit by achieving great heights in cultural, literary & educational fields. This institution celebrated its silver jubilee, made its golden jubilee memorable, and after glorious diamond and Platinum jubilees, it is marching towards a glorious century.

The Mumbai Marathi Sahitya Sangha was established on 21st July 1935 for the purpose of nurturing Marathi language and Marathi literature in Mumbai city and its suburbs. Prof. A.B. Gajendragadkar was appointed as the swagatadhyakshya of the first session of the Marathi literary festival held in Greater Mumbai. It was during this festival that the idea of establishing an institution which will do literary work on a permanent basis was first suggested. Due to limited resources, initially the work of Sahitya Sangha was limited. It included holding annual literary festivals in Mumbai and its suburbs, organising occasional literary discussions, holding classes for the exams organised by Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad, publishing house journals, organising lectures of learned speakers every year in memory of late Shri. Waman Malhar Joshi & publishing them in book forms whenever possible, organising series of lectures etc.

The Marathi literary festivals held in Mumbai in 1938 under the chairmanship of Swatantryaveer Savarkar & in 1950 under the chairmanship of Rajkavi Yashwant, were organised by Sahitya Sangha. But the theatre festival organised by Sahitya Sangha in 1941, gave a new and different direction to the work of Sahitya Sangha. It was duringthis festival that the idea of holding a grand theatre festival in 1943 came forward, since that was the year when Marathi theatre would be celebrating its 100 years. Though the main celebrations were held in Sangli in November that year, Sahitya Sangha organised its own grand festival in April 1944 in its open theatre. Not only that, it became a tradition afterwards to hold an annual theatre festival, which Sahitya Sangha continues to follow till today. Open theatre was an old tradition in India; but it was made popular in Mumbai & outside in recent times, by Sahitya Sangha. One additional motive in holding the first theatre festival was to provide an affordable venue for the various literary and theatrical activities in Mumbai. That also was achieved. Moreover, Sahitya Sangha managed to acquire some land in Kelewadi, Girgaon, and to build a grand modern auditorium on it. It was inaugurated on 6th April 1964 and Marathi theatre got a place of its own.

Sahitya Sangha was fortunate to get many great personalities from various fields in Mumbai, like Prof. A. B. Gajendragadkar, Shri. Dajisaheb Tuljapurkar, Shri. S. M. Varde, Shri. Ramrao Vijaykar, Shri. Bhaskarrao Jadhav, Shri. B. C. Sukthankar, Shri. R. D. Karve, Shri. K. S. Daundkar as workers in the initial stages. The Sangha benefited from their versatile personalities. It was because of these stalwarts that the Sangha became popular and gained prestige in society in short period and the dream of Sahitya Sangha Mandir was realised.

Activities of Sahitya Sangha :

  • Lectures
  • Meetings
  • Festivals
  • Language teaching
  • Publications
  • Reference Library
  • Poets’ meet
  • Periodicals
  • Literary awards
  • Plays
  • Stage for experimental theatre
  • Theatrical training
  • Theatrical awards