The man who made history: एक इतिहासकार का अंत और इस सदी की प्रतीक्षा – The Human Rescue Team & Research Repertory condoles on death of the eminent historian Prof . Ramsharan Sharma

एक इतिहासकार का अंत और इस सदी की प्रतीक्षा – आचार्य रामशरण शर्मा का जाना हमें मंजधार में छोर गया है ! इस समय जब देश उन्मादी हो रहा है , शर्मा जी का होना अनिवार्य था !

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The man who made history

Pranava K Chaudhary, TNN | Aug 22, 2011, 03.23AM IST

PATNA: The demise of doyen of Indian history, R S Sharma, has left the academic world poorer. He was the first historian to critically study the various aspects of early Indian social, economic and political structure and bring into focus the exploitation of weaker sections of Indian society.

His student and former HoD of Delhi University D N Jha said that Sharma was a trendsetter in Indian history writing and his works provoked animated debate on the nature of early Indian society and culture.

His death has created a void in the academia," an emotional Jha told TOI over phone from New Delhi. Sharma had made seminal contributions in the field of early Indian history by applying Marxist method of analysis. "In contrast to his predecessors who had focused their attention on the study of higher orders, he published his "Sudras in Ancient India" in 1958 and examined the relationship of the lower strata with the means of production from the Vedic age to the Gupta period," said Jha.

In 1965, he published "Indian Feudalism" to unravel the process of class formation, and social implications of the material changes in the Vedic period and in the age of the Buddha on the basis of literary and archaeological sources. Sharma’s research, according to historians, covers the whole range of early Indian history and is largely summarized in his textbook "Ancient India" (1977), written for NCERT. When this book was briefly withdrawn from curriculum under the pressure of ‘obscurantist elements’, he launched an attack on them in his "In defence of Ancient India" (1979).

For nearly five decades, he strode the field of early historical studies like a colossus and demystified Indian history. A man of courage, conviction, utter humility and strong social commitment, Professor Sharma was as unassuming as indefatigable in his academic pursuits.

After a brief stint as a lecturer in HD Jain college, Ara and TNB college, Bhagalpur, he joined Patna College in 1947 as a lecturer. In 1958, Sharma became the HoD (history), Patna University, and continued to occupy that position till 1973 when he moved over to Delhi University. Earlier, he had become the first chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi. He finally retired from Delhi University in 1985.

In his early youth, he had come in contact with peasant leaders like Karyanand Sharma and Sahajanand Saraswati and scholars like Rahul Sankritayana and D D Kosambi, which imbibed in him the determination to fight for social justice, drawing him to Marxist ideology.

A native of Barauni village in Begusarai district, Sharma has to his credit nearly two dozen books, translated into several languages.

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