ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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V N Datta: ​A Student’s Reminiscence

V N Datta, Professor Emeritus of History, Kurukshetra University, breathed his last on 30 November 2020. He was 94. His long life was what, by any standards, would be judged as happy, fulfilling, and very productive; except for his very last years when an unsuccessful hip surgery kept him increasingly confined to the bed and in perma­nent pain which could any time become excruciating. The person who, unaffe­cted by advancing years and an unfortunate limp, would—exemplifying the life of the mind—everyday be the first ­reader to enter Delhi’s India International Lib­rary, was thus cruelly confined.

The life of the mind, however, never left him. Indeed, it remained his sole succour in the midst of that helplessness. Meeting him even during those last painful years was intellectually scintillating. He would probe you with Socratic questions about what you were reading, writing and thinking, and leave you with something new to think about. Often it would be a question you had not thought of before. He was a great believer in the efficacy of questions. Answers were perennially provisional.

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Updated On : 12th Dec, 2020

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