Obituary – Prof. Ghorpade

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PROF. MADHAVRAO BABASAHEB GHORPADE

(31/7/1926 – 6/1/2019)

Born and raised in Kolhapur, Prof. Ghorpade first worked as a school teacher there.  He earned his masters degree in Psychology from the University of Pune in 1958.  He began his career in the field of Psychology as a Lecturer at St. Xavier’s College, Bombay, in 1959, and after serving there for nine years moved to R.D. National College in Bandra, Bombay, as the Head of their Psychology Department.  He retired in July 1986 from National College. 

During his 28 years as a Psychologist, Prof. Ghorpade wrote several books on the subject including An Introduction to Experimental Psychology (1964); Essentials of Psychological Testing (1975); Essentials of Social Psychology (1977). Some of the books on Industrial Organizational Psychology were co-authored with Dr. P. K. Ghosh (of Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management) and on Psychotherapy were co-authored with Dr. Vipin Kumar.  His idea behind writing the books was to afford students of psychology a precise, straightforward an intelligible account of the major concepts of contemporary psychology while preparing them for a more advanced study of the subject. He contributed several articles and research papers to Psychology Research journals and was a guest lecturer at Bombay University’s Psychology Department for post graduate studies.  

 In 1975, the Bombay Psychological Association (BPA) decided to publish a biannual journal. This became a cherished preoccupation of his since he was the first proud Editor of the ‘Bombay Psychologist’. He was editor and publisher of the BPA Journal for nearly two decades in spite of the paltry amount given for publication. Eminent, dedicated people like Prof. Ghorpade have built BPA and its Journal through their perseverance and commitment. He was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 15th Annual Conference of BPA in recognition for his contribution to the field and his legacy to the future generations.

He had a childlike curiosity about absolutely everything that challenged his intellect and pursued it with zeal and passion. He spent his entire life reading and writing. When he first came to Mumbai (Bombay as it was called then), he could barely converse in English, but didn’t allow that to set him back. He spent copious amounts of time mastering the language and went on to write several books in it. He always stayed indebted to Fr. Fuster and Fr. Fillela, the Spanish priests at St. Xavier’s College, for believing in his abilities and giving him his first real big break in the academic field, his very first job as a lecturer at their prestigious college. Never driven by money or fame, he was motivated by the insatiable quest for knowledge, the need to expand his understanding of life and the absolute compulsive desire to genuinely share his learning with one and all. His motto in life was “Wish upon a star, no matter who you are!”. Prof. Ghorpade will always be one of the shining stars in the history of Indian psychologists, inspiring us all. May his soul rest in peace.

 (Compiled by: Dr. Blanche Barnes, Dr. Durga Parikh and Dr. Priscilla Paul on behalf of the BPA)