Obituary: Fr. Ambrose Pinto – A Reformer

Fr. Ambrose Pinto SJ, one of the sharpest brains among the Jesuits and of the country passed away this morning at 7 am, at Mallya Hospital, Bengaluru. He was 67.

Born on November 11, 1950, he joined the Society of Jesus on July 1, 1968 and was ordained on April 20, 1981. With his passing away, Bengaluru has lost a man of great intellectual depth and a sharp analytical mind.

Also read: Thanks Ambrose! A Tribute by Fr. Cedric Prakash, SJ

An engaging writer, thinker and an activist intellectual, he was known among all those who worked for Human Rights and Dignity. He was a member of the Jesuit Core Team that studied about the current issues of the country.

The funeral will be held on Friday, 5 January at St Joseph’s Boys’ High School Chapel, Museum Road, at 10.30 a.m. followed by burial at Mt St Joseph Cemetery on Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru.

An M.A., Ph.D in Political Theory, Fr. Ambrose taught and served in various capacities such as lecturer in in Political Science, Principal, and Executive Director at St. Joseph’s Institutions. He was a Fellow at Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla and Principal at St. Aloysius Degree College, Bengaluru.

His critical research and consultancy studies positively impacted several people particularly from the marginalized sector. Among them were his socio-economic study on Dalit Christians in Karnataka; Evaluation of Minority Welfare Corporation Funding of the Ministry of Minority Affairs of the Government of India in 2000; Changing Identity of the Dalits in Karnataka – a major project from the University Grants Commission 2007 to 2010; Doddigunta Slum Survey with Grant from India German Social Science Society, New Delhi, among others.

He published and edited several books. Some of them are:

  1. “Dalit Christians: A Socio-Economic Survey”, Centre for Non-Formal & Continuing Education, Bangalore 1993
  2. Higher Education, Politics and Ideology, Books for Change, 2004, Bangalore
  3. Dalits in Karnataka: In search of identity and equality, Manak Publications, New Delhi 2014
  4. Five Years of Saffron Rule in Karnataka, Manak Publications, New Delhi 2015


  1. Perspective in Jesuit Higher Education, Indian Social Institute, Bangalore 1996
  2. Dr. Pinto Ambrose and Arundhuti Roy Choudhury, “Nuclearization of India: Myths, Beliefs and Facts”, Indian Social Institute, New Delhi 1998
  3. State, Development & Alternatives, Indian Social Institute, New Delhi 1999
  4. Dalits: Assertion for Identity, Indian Social Institute, New Delhi 1999
  5. Vox Populi 1999: Analysis of Parliamentary Elections, Indian Social Institute 2000
  6. Dr. Ambrose Pinto and Somen Chakraborty “Relevance of Communist Manifesto”, Indian Social Institute, New Delhi 2000
  7. Indian Reality: Debt and Development, Indian Social Institute, New Delhi 2000
  8. Resisting the Status Quo: Transforming Society, Indian Social Institute, New Delhi 2000
  9. Dr. Ambrose Pinto and Dr. Helmut Reifeld “Women in Panchayati Raj”, Indian Social Institute, New Delhi 2001
  10. Autonomy: A Review – Proceedings of a Seminar, St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore, 2008
  11. From Religion to Faith – Reflection on multi-religious experiences, Asian Trading Corporation, Bangalore 2010 with Dr. Etienne Rassendran
  12. Beyond Politics, Gyan Publishers, New Delhi 2016

In addition, he presented over 60 Papers and published over 110 articles. He wrote over 85 articles for newspapers and attended several international seminars.

He was a recipient of Karnataka Rajyostava Award in 2010, Garden City Award for best Principal 2010 and Journalistic Award for the best coverage for SC/ST concerns by CBCI in 2009.

The Karnataka government consulted him and he was a member of State committee for the identification of the backward classes in Karnataka, appointed in 2015. He was also a member of the committee for the improvement of Government Schools in Karnataka, appointed in 2016.

May his soul rest in peace.




  1. An intellectual giant with a kind heart. Tough yet sensitive. He put so many things in perspective for me. Thank you father. May your soul rest in peace.

  2. He was my inspiration to complete my education, and to pursue higher studies, I lost a beloved friend and down to earth person. He will be missed dearly.

  3. He served humanity with dedication and distinction. Long live the memory of his heroic commitment to the poor, the downtrodden, the marginalized, the oppressed, the stigmatized and the exploited. Farewell Ambrose.

  4. Fr Pinto was an inspiration to many around the world who sought social justice for the marginalized. I will miss him terribly.
    Laurence Simon, Brandeis University, USA

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