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

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B D Chattopadhyaya (1939–2022)

An overview of the intellectual trajectory and contributions of B D Chattopadhyaya, the departed historian and thinker, underscores his role as a crusader against the homogenised representation of Indic pasts.

Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya, a historian par excellence, passed away on 13 July 2022. The discipline of the early Indian history lost one of its strong exponents who never budged to any kind of fundamentalism.

I never sat in his class and came to know him personally much later in my life in 2001 during the Indian History Congress Session in Calcutta University. Occasional visits to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) flowered our relationship, which further strengthened when he came back to settle in Kolkata post retirement. Our conversations would meander across many themes, academic/non-academic, and I always came back home with a sense of fulfilment and happiness. Thus, my intellectual debt to him is immense. Osmund Bopearachchi and I tried to pay our tribute to him through a festschrift, Early Indian History and Beyond: Essays in Honour of B D Chattopadhyaya, a bouquet of 26 essays written by his colleagues, students, and friends. During the book launch by Romila Thapar at the India International Centre, New Delhi, BDC (as he was called), in his inimitable, quiet way accepted the honour and spoke a few words, worthy of many. There was no expression of exuberance, but the twinkle in his eyes and the smile said it all.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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