R. C. Majumdar

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Ramesh Chandra Majumdar (रमेशचन्द्र मजुमदार)
Born (1888-12-04)4 December 1888
Khandapara, Faridpur, Bengal
Died Script error: No such module "age".
Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Nationality India
Institutions University of Calcutta
University of Dhaka
Alma mater University of Calcutta
Spouse Priyabala Majumdar[citation needed]
Children Shanti Sen, Ashok Kumar Majumdar, Sujata Sen, Sumitra Choudhury[citation needed]

Ramesh Chandra Majumdar (रमेशचन्द्र मजुमदार) (4 December 1888 – 11 February 1980) was a respected historian and professor of Indian history.[1][2]

He is sometimes called "the dean of Indian historians" for his colossal contribution to the study of Indian history.

Reception on wikipedia[edit]

Early life and education[edit]

Born at Khandarpara, in Faridpur District (now in Bangladesh) on 4 December 1888, to Haladhar Majumdar and Bidhumukhi, Majumdar passed his childhood in poverty. In 1905, he passed his Entrance Examination from Ravenshaw College, Cuttack. In 1907, he passed F.A. with first class scholarship from Ripon College (now Surendranath College) and joined Presidency College, Calcutta. Graduating in B.A.(Honours) in 1909 and MA from Calcutta University in 1911, he won the Premchand Roychand scholarship from the University of Calcutta for his research work in 1913.

Career[edit]

He started his teaching career as a Lecturer at Dacca Government Training College. Since 1914, he spent seven years as a professor of history at the University of Calcutta. He got his doctorate for his thesis "Corporate Life in Ancient India".[3] In 1921 he joined the newly established University of Dacca as Professor of History. He also served, until he became its Vice Chancellor, as the Head of the Department of History as well as the Dean of the Faculty of Arts. Between 1924 and 1936 he was Provost of Jagannath Hall. Then he became the Vice Chancellor of that University, for five years from 1937 to 1942. From 1950, he was Principal of the College of Indology, Benares Hindu University. He was elected the General President of the Indian History Congress and also became the Vice President of the International Commission set up by the UNESCO for the history of mankind.

Works[edit]

He started his research on ancient India. After extensive travels to Southeast Asia and research, he wrote detailed histories of Champa (1927), Suvarnadvipa (1929) and Kambuja Desa. On the initiative of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, he took up the mantle of editing a multi-volume tome on Indian History. Starting in 1951, he toiled for twenty six long years to describe the history of the Indian people from the Vedic Period to the present day in eleven volumes. In 1955 Majumdar became the founder-principal of the College of Indology of Nagpur University. In 1958-59 he taught Indian history in the Universities of Chicago and Pennsylvania. He was also the president of the Asiatic Society (1966–68) and the vangiya sahitya parisad (1968–69). For some time he was also the Sheriff of Calcutta (1967–68).

When the final volume of "The History and Culture of the Indian People" was published in 1977, he had turned eighty-eight. He also edited the three-volume history of Bengal published by Dacca University. His last book was "Jivaner Smritidvipe".

Views on the Indian independence movement[edit]

When the Government of India set up an editorial Committee to author a history of the freedom struggle of India, he was its principal member. But, following a conflict with the then Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad on the Sepoy Mutiny, he left the government job and published his own book. The Sepoy Mutiny & Revolt of 1857. According to him the origins of India's freedom struggle lie in the English-educated Indian middle-class and the freedom struggle started with the Banga Bhanga movement in 1905. His views on the freedom struggle are found in his book History of the Freedom Movement in India. He was an admirer of Swami Vivekananda and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.

Bibliography[edit]


Influence in South East Asia[edit]

  • Study of Sanskrit in South-East Asia
  • Ancient Indian colonisation in South-East Asia.
  • Champa, Ancient Indian Colonies in the Far East, Vol.I, Lahore, 1927. ISBN 0-8364-2802-1
  • Suvarnadvipa, Ancient Indian Colonies in the Far East, Vol.II, Calcutta,
  • Kambuja Desa Or An Ancient Hindu Colony In Cambodia, Madras, 1944
  • Hindu Colonies in the Far East, Calcutta, 1944, ISBN 99910-0-001-1
  • India and South-East Asia, I.S.P.Q.S. History and Archaeology Series Vol. 6, 1979, ISBN 81-7018-046-5.
  • History of the Hindu Colonization and Hindu Culture in South-East Asia

Quotes[edit]

  • Indians of old were keenly alive to the expansion of dominions, acquisition of wealth, and the development of trade, industry and commerce. The material prosperity they gained in these various ways was reflected in the luxury and elegance that characterized the society... The adventurous spirit of the Indians carried them even as far as the North Sea, while their caravans traveled from one end of Asia to the other.
    • R. C. Majumdar, Ancient India, 1977, p. 210-216.
  • There can be no doubt that the architects who planned and built the Ananda temple were Indians. Everything in this temple from Sikhara to the basement as well as the numerous stone sculptures found in its corridors and the terra-cotta...adoring its basement and terraces, bear the indubitable stamp of Indian genius and craftsmanship...In this sense, we may take it, therefore, that the Ananda, though built in the Burmese capital, is an Indian temple."
    • ' R. C. Majumdar, Ancient India, 1977, p. 497.
  • A number of people including William Wilberforce, sought to refute these arguments by painting in black colors the horrible customs of the Hindus such as sati, infanticide, throwing the children into the Ganga, religious suicides, and above all idolatry. Vivid descriptions were given of the massacre of the innocent resulting from the car procession of Lord Jagannath at Puri, and the Baptists put down the number of annual victims at not less than 120,000. When challenged they had to admit that they did not actually count the dead bodies but arrived at the figure by an ingenious calculation.
    • R. C. Majumdar, The History and Culture of Indian People. Vol. X, 2nd ed., Bombay, 1981, p. 152-153.

Quotes about R.C. Majumdar[edit]

  • The only voice which was heard against this nation-wide exercise in suppressio veri suggestio falsi in the field of medieval Indian history, was that of the veteran historian, R.C. Majumdar. For him, this “national integration” based on a wilful blindness to recorded history of the havoc wrought by Islam in India, could lead only to national suicide. He tried his best to arrest the trend by presenting Islamic imperialism in medieval India as it was, and not as the politicians in league with Stalinist and Muslim historians were tailoring it to become. “Political necessities of the Indians during the last phase of British rule,” he wrote in 1960, “underlined the importance of alliance between the two communities, and this was sought to be smoothly brought about by glossing over the differences and creating an imaginary history of the past in order to depict the relations between the two in a much more favourable light than it actually was. ....But history is no respecter of persons or communities, and must always strive to tell the truth, so far as it can be deduced from reliable evidence. This great academic principle has a bearing upon actual life, for ignorance seldom proves to be a real bliss either to an individual or to a nation. In the particular case under consideration, ignorance of the actual relation between the Hindus and the Muslims throughout the course of history - an ignorance deliberately encouraged by some - may ultimately be found to have been the most important single factor which led to the partition of India. The real and effective means of solving a problem is to know and understand the facts that gave rise to it, and not to ignore them by hiding the head, ostrich-like, into sands of fiction.”
    • Sita Ram Goel, The Calcutta Quran Petition (1986)
  • But his voice remained a voice in the wilderness. Fourteen years later, he [R.C. Majumdar] had to return to the theme and give specific instances of falsification. “It is very sad,” he observed, “that the spirit of perverting history to suit political views is no longer confined to politicians, but has definitely spread even among professional historians… It is painful to mention though impossible to ignore, the fact that there is a distinct and conscious attempt to rewrite the whole chapter of the bigotry and intolerance of the Muslim rulers towards Hindu religion. This was originally prompted by the political motive of bringing together the Hindus and Musalmans in a common fight against the British but has continued ever since. A history written under the auspices of the Indian National Congress sought to repudiate the charge that the Muslim rulers broke Hindu temples, and asserted that they were the most tolerant in matters of religion. Following in its footsteps, a noted historian has sought to exonerate Mahmud of Ghazni’s bigotry and fanaticism, and several writers in India have come forward to defend Aurangzeb against Jadunath Sarkar’s charge of religious intolerance. It is interesting to note that in the revised edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam, one of them, while re-writing the article on Aurangzeb originally written by William Irvine, has expressed the view that the charge of breaking Hindu temples brought against Aurangzeb is a disputed point. Alas for poor Jadunath Sarkar, who must have turned in his grave if he were buried. For, after reading his History of Aurangzib, one would be tempted to ask, if the temple-breaking policy of Aurangzeb is a disputed point, is there a single fact in the whole recorded history of mankind which may be taken as undisputed? A noted historian has sought to prove that the Hindu population was better off under the Muslims than under the Hindu tributaries or independent rulers.”
    • Sita Ram Goel, The Calcutta Quran Petition (1986)



References[edit]

  1. Shobhan Saxena (17 October 2010). "Why is our past an area of darkness?". Times Of India. Retrieved 15 December 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Books". Spectrum. The Sunday Tribune. 3 September 2006. Retrieved 15 December 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Corporate Life in Ancient India: Thesis. mcmaster.ca. Retrieved 17 November 2013

External links[edit]

wikiquote:R. C. Majumdar