Baba Padmanji was born in 1831 in Belgaum. A firebrand pioneer of Christian feminist reform in 19th-century Western India, Padmanji hailed from an elite family that was non-Brahmin in terms of caste—the influential tvashta kasar caste of braziers. He converted to Christianity in 1854 and came into conflict with many intellectual Hindu reform groups in Bombay such as the Paramhans Mandali and the Prarthana Samaj. Padmanji married multiple times after his divorce from his first Hindu wife in 1857, which had a lasting impact on him. The author of over a hundred Marathi texts, he ran his own printing press (Victoria Press) in Bombay. Serving as an ordained pastor at the Free Church in Pune for some time after 1861, Padmanji retired as the head of the Bombay Vernacular Books Society, and as editor of numerous Christian journals from Western India. He passed away in August 1906 in Mumbai and lies buried at the Sewri Christian Cemetery.