Early Life of Umashankar Joshi
Umashankar Joshi was born in small village named Bamna village which is now in Bhiloda Taluka of Gujarat. His father, Jethalal Kamalji was a Karbhari in small ‘jagirs’. His Mother was Navalbai. He had eight siblings: six brothers and two sisters. He received encouragement for innovative writing from the stunning surroundings of the hilly areas and the social life of the villages with fairs and festivals.
He started his education at Primary school of Bamna in 1916. He continued his education till 1927 at Idar's Pratap High school. In 1927, he did matriculation from Proprietary High school, Ahmedabad. In 1928, he took Admission in Gujarat College, Ahmedabad and continued his education there till 1930. Then he took admission in Elphinstone College, Mumbai for degree and there he was graduated with second division in Economics and History. After that, he got Masters of Arts with first division in Gujarati and Sanskrit from Mumbai University.
Career of Umashankar Joshi
Umashankar Joshi joined the freedom struggle led by Gandhi in 1929 and started his fight by participating in the 34-day strike called by the students of Gujarat College. In 1930, he took active part in the Freedom Struggle and joined ‘Viramgam Camp’ as a ‘satyagrahi’ from early April. He was imprisoned for fourteen weeks, starting from November 1930 in Sabarmati jail and tent-jail at Yerwada till 1931. Then in 1931, he attended National Conference of Indian National Congress at Karachi and stayed at Gujarat Vidyapith from July for six months. He was imprisoned for the second time for eight months, at Sabarmati and Visapur jails in 1932.
Then in 1937, Joshi started his career as a Teacher at Goklibai High School in Mumbai. After his graduation, he became a part-time lecturer at Sydenham College of Commerce, Mumbai – till 1939. After that, he was appointed as professor in post graduate research studies department, at Gujarat Vernacular Society. He worked there till 1946 when he took voluntary retirement. Then, in 1948, he was appointed by Mumbai Government on the Gujarati Textbook Committee. In 1953, he served as a visiting faculty at Lokbharti Shikshan Sanstha which was an educational institution in Sanosara, Gujarat. In June 1954, he was appointed as professor of Gujarati Literature at Gujarat University. He was also appointed head of School of languages in that university.
In 1956, Joshi went to America and England as a member of a committee sent by the Indian Government to study the activities of 'General Education' in American and some British Universities. In 1964, he became a member of a committee appointed by the Government of Gujarat for establishment of South Gujarat and Saurashtra Universities. From 30th November 1966 he was Vice-Chancellor of Gujarat University. On 17th November 1972 he retired from that post.
Personal Life of Umashankar Joshi
On 25th May 1937, Umashankar Joshi married to Jyotsna N. Joshi. He had two daughters Nandini and Svati. In 1957, he shifted to his new residence at Ahmedabad. In 1988, he was admitted for lung cancer in Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai. He died on 19th December 1988 at the age of 77.