Jadunath Sarkar

18 May 2016
23 May 2016
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Sir Jadunath Sarkar CIE (10 December 1870 – 19 May 1958) was a prominent Indian Bengali aristocrat and historian.

Born in Karachmaria village, he was the son of Rajkumar Sarkar, the Zamindar of Karachmaria in Natore in Bengal. In 1891, he passed the B.A. examination with honours in English and History from Presidency College, Calcutta. In 1892, he stood First in the First Class in the M.A. examination of Calcutta University in English. In 1897, he received the Premchand-Roychand Scholarship.

He became a teacher in English literature in 1893 at Ripon College, Kolkata (later renamed Surendranath College). In 1898, he started teaching at Presidency College, Calcutta. In 1899, he was transferred to Patna College, Patna, where he would continue teaching until 1926. In between, in 1917-1919, he taught Modern Indian History in Benaras Hindu University and during 1919-1923 he taught in Ravenshaw College, Cuttack, now in Odisha. In 1923, he became an honorary member of the Royal Asiatic Society of London. In August 1926, he was appointed as the Vice Chancellor of Calcutta University. In 1928, he joined as Sir W. Meyer Lecturer in Madras University.

Sarkar was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) and knighted in the 1929 Birthday Honours list.He was invested with his knighthood at Simla by the acting Viceroy, Lord Goschen, on 22 August 1929

The Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta an autonomous research centre has been located at 10, Lake Terrace, Sarkar’s house, from 1973 to 2000. This house was handed over to the state government by Sarkar’s wife, Lady Kadambini Sarkar, just before she died. The building now houses the newly established Jadunath Sarkar Resource Centre for Historical Research, which has been established under the aegis of the CSSSC. The Jadunath Bhavan Museum and Resource Centre, a museum-cum-archive was set up at Jadunath Bhavan on 1 February 2015.

Academically, Jos J. L. Gommans compares Sarkar’s work with those of the Aligarh historians, noting that while the historians from the Aligarh worked mainly on the Mansabdari system and Gunpowder technology in the Mughal Empire, Sarkar concentrated on Military tactics and Sieges.Kaushik Roy notes that the works of Jadunath Sarkar along with those of Jagadish Narayan Sarkar are now “forgotten due to pressure of Marxism and Postmodernism”.

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