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

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An Extraordinary Educator

Remembering Rajat Datta (1956–2021)

The intellectual excellence of Rajat Datta, enmeshed with his wit and humour, is elaborated. A broad vision and a mature stance defined his approach towards academics and his students who remember him fondly. 

When Rajat Datta passed away on 30 October 2021, it rekindled in me a sense of loss I had not experienced since my father had passed away 18 years back at the age of 57. When I heard about Datta, I had something like a déjà vu. The reason for this probably lay in the uncanny resemblances that the two deaths bore. Both were the results of short-term serious illnesses, resulting in the untimely departures of two men close to me much before their time.

There was another reason. I always saw Datta as my intellectual parent. Between 2008 and 2010, he supervised my MPhil at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and then from 2010 to 2015, my PhD. Under his deft guidance, I matured from a 23-year-old apprentice at the historian’s workshop to a 30-year-old journeyman, tentatively ready to venture out into the professional world.
I owed a large part of this intellectual and personal transformation to Datta. It is in this sense that losing him brought back the grief I had felt when I had lost my father.

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Updated On : 11th Dec, 2021
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