Deshpande (74), won acclaim for his plays including `Udhvasta Dharmashala' and `Satyashodhak', the latter centred on the mission of pioneering social reformer Mahatma Phule.
Known for his insightful analysis of political processes, Deshpande was also considered an authority on China. He also taught at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi for many years.
A large number of theatre personalities, including prominent playwright Satish Alekar, paid tributes to Deshpande saying his death had removed a thought-provoking writer from the Marathi literary scene.
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