Sunday, December 10, 2023

Renowned historian Mushirul Hasan dies at 71

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Professor Mushirul Hasan, a renowned historian who served as vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, passed away early Monday morning. He was 71. Hasan’s health started declining after he was critically injured in a road accident on his way to Mewat from Delhi in 2014.

Hasan’s namaz-e-Janaza will be performed at 1 pm at Babul Ilm and at 2 pm at Jamia Mosque. The burial will take place at the Jamia graveyard.

He is survived by his wife Zoya Hasan, a political scientist and academician. Hasan is the second son of the noted historian Mohibbul Hasan.

A former Director General of the National Archives of India, Hasan has been credited for writing extensively on the partition of India, and histories of Islam in south-Asia. He served as the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Jamia between 1992-96 and later in the capacity of VC between 2004-09.

Hasan was an alumnus of the Aligarh Muslim University and the University of Cambridge.

Hasan was awarded the Padma Shri in 2007 for his extensive writings on Partition and the history of Islam in South Asia.

Historian Syed Irfan Habib said Hasan was one of the most prolific historians of modern Indian history. “Saw him decline gradually over the past few years after the terrible accident,” he tweeted.

Hasan, who has been known for his contribution to social sciences was also the former Vice-Chairman, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, former president of Indo-Iran Society in Iran Embassy and former president of  Indian History Congress in 2002 among numerous other posts he held in his career.

Hasan stood with students of Jamia Millia Islamia in the aftermath of the Batla House fake encounter wherein a Jamia student was gunned down and several others were later picked up from the vicinity of the university. His announcement of legal help to the arrested Jamia students in connection with Delhi serial blasts had made him hero and several thousands came to street in his leadership to protest the police highhandedness.

Some of his well-known works are:

  • A Nationalist Conscience: M.A. Ansari, the Congress and the Raj, (Delhi: Manohar, 1987)
  • Nationalism and Communal Politics in India, 1885–1930 (Delhi: Manohar, 1991). Paperback edition published in 1994. Reprinted in 2000.
  • The Legacy of a Divided Nation: India’s Muslims Since Independence (Oxford University Press, 1997)
  • John Company to the Republic: A Story of Modern India (2001)
  • Islam in the Subcontinent: Muslims in a Plural Society (2002)
  • From Pluralism to Separatism: Qasbas in Colonial India (Oxford University Press, 2003)
  • Making Sense of History: Society, Culture and Politics (Manohar, 2003)
  • A Moral Reckoning: Muslim Intellectuals in Nineteenth-Century Delhi (Oxford University Press, 2005)
  • The Nehrus: Personal Histories (2006)
  • Partners in Freedom: Jamia Millia Islamia, (Niyogi Books: Delhi, 2006), (with Rakhshanda Jalil)
  • Wit and Humour in Colonial North India (Niyogi Books: Delhi, 2007)
  • Moderate or Militant? Images Of India’s Muslims (Oxford University Press, 2008)
  • Between Modernity and Nationalism: Halide Edip’s Encounter with Gandhi’s India (Oxford University Press, 2010)
  • Faith and Freedom: Gandhi in History (Niyogi Books: Delhi, 2013)
  • Islam, Pluralism, Nationhood: Legacy of Maulana Azad (Niyogi Books: Delhi, 2014)
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