Deenanath Mangeshkar was a well-known Marathi theatre actor as well as prominent Natya Sangeet musician and a Hindustani classical vocalist. He was popularly known as Dina and had respectfully addressed as Master Deenanath Mangeshkar. He is the father of renowned singers like Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosale.
Early Life & Background
Deenanath Mangeshkar was born on 29th December, 1900 at Mangeshi, Goa. He was the son of Ganesh Bhatt Abhisheki, who served as a priest at the famous Mangeshi Temple. While his mother Yesubai, who originally belonged to Devadasi community of Goa. His mother, use to sing at the temple festivals. His original surname was Hardikar but as his family bathed the Linga of Lord Shiva at the temple, they were known as Abhisheki. However, Deenanath changed his surname to ‘Mangeshkar’, which was derived from the name of his family deity Shri Mangesh which is an avatar of Lord Shiva. He was trained under Shri Baba Mashelkar, Pandit Sukhdev Prasad and Ramkrishna Vaze. He had also studied astrology.
Journey in the Industry
At the age of 5, Deenanath Mangeshkar took the training of singing and music from Shri Baba Mashelkar. Later, he traveled to Bikaner and took formal training from Pandit Sukhdev Prasad in classical music. At the age of 11, he joined the Kirloskar Sangeet Mandali and Kirloskar Natam Mandali. Soon he left the Kirloskar Mandali to form his own Balwant Mandali. He formed it with his friends Chintamanrao Kolhatkar and Krishnarao Kolhapure. Ram Ganesh Gadkari, the writer & poet supported ‘Balwant Mandali’, but unfortunately Gadkari died in January 1919 (Shortly after the group was formed).
Deenanath Mangeshkar was very talented with melodious voice and good looks. He soon earned popularity on the Mararhi theatre. Even the noted theatre personality Bal Gandharva publicly declared that he would welcome the entry of Deenanath in his organization.
In 1935, Deenanath produced 3 Marathi films. Among them ‘Krishnarjun Yuddha’ was the movie which was made in Marathi as well as in Hindi. He had also sung song from this movie. Deenanath had also produced several dramas and had even acted & sung in it. His dramas were very popular among the audience, especially because of the patriotic content in it and due to the songs which were composed by Ramkrishna Vaze. Some of his famous plays were ‘Manapaman’, ‘Ranadundubhi’, ‘Punyaprabhaav’ and more. He had also produced, sang and acted in the play ‘Sanyasta Khadga’, which was written by Veer Savarkar.
As Deenanath was astrologist, he believed that drama with 5 letters with anuswar on the third letter were lucky for him (5 letters were considered as Marathi letters and not English). And so he named his drama as ‘Ranadundubhi’, ‘Rajsanyas’, ‘Deshkantak’ and more.
Deenanath had a different way of fighting for India’s Independence. He openly challenged the British Empire by performing and singing songs penned by Veer Savarkar in the presence of the British Viceroy in Shimla. He was the first musician to do so.
Mangeshkar family has built a hospital and research center in the name of Deenanath Mangeshkar in Pune. He has also got postal stamp by the name of ‘Master Deenanath Mangeshkar’.
Mangeshkar family has even introduced an award named after their father ‘Deenanath Mangeshkar Award’. Madhuri Dixit and Jaya Bachchan were the top most actresses who had received ‘Deenanath Mangeshkar Award’.
Deenanath first got married to Narmada 1922 and changed her name to Shrimati. She was the daughter of Seth Haridas Ramdas Las, a prosperous businessman of Thalner, Maharashtra. She was married to Deenanath at the age of 19. They had a daughter named Latika, who died in her childhood. Soon even Narmada died.
In 1927, Deenanath got married to Shevanti. Shevanti was a sister of Narmada. The couple had five children- four daughters Lata, Meena, Asha, Usha and a son Hridaynath Mangeshkar. Actually Lata was named as Hridaya, but in a memory of his deceased daughter Latika, Deenanath called her Lata. His daughters Lata, Asha & Usha are popular Indian singers, while Meena Khadikar & Hridayanath Mangeshkar is the playback singers as well as composers.
In April 1942, Deenanath died in Pune after being ill for several weeks.
Name of Dramas
As a Singer and Actor:
Ram Rajya Viyog