Satish Chandra, veteran historian, dies at 95
New Delhi: Historian Satish Chandra, who brought a radically fresh perspective in understanding the causes of the Mughal Empire’s downfall, and whose textbook on medieval India was almost compulsory reading for students as well as civil service aspirants, passed away on Friday. He was 95.
“He had been hospitalised a few weeks ago,” posted JNU historian R Mahalakshmi on Facebook. The news was confirmed by historians Irfan Habib and Mridula Mukherjee. “He was on dialysis for over a decade. Yet he remained wedded to work,” said Mukherjee, a former student and colleague at JNU.
Along with S Gopal, Bipan Chandra and Romila Thapar, Satish Chandra was one of the stalwarts of JNU’s Centre of Historical Studies.
His most important works include the seminal, ‘Parties and Politics at the Mughal Court, 1707-1740’. But it was his NCERT textbook ‘ Medieval India’, which earned him instant recall nationwide.
Chandra was also a man with courage of conviction. He was the UGC chairman during the Emergency when the government came up with the idea that teachers should have “a code” — a potentially restrictive measure.
“Prof Chandra then issued a circular that teachers’ rights should also be included,” said Habib, adding that “he protected the Central universities from undue government intervention.”
The class was held at DAV Centenary Public School, Jaipur, which was attended by 15,000 students. This module was conducted across India over 693 DAV schools. After Jaipur, Satyarthi reached Chandigarh on October12 as part of this 35-day ‘Bharat Yatra’, to create awareness and seek solutions to combat the menace of child sexual abuse and trafficking.