Ramesh Chandra Majumdar (known as R. C. Majumdar; 4 December 1884 –
11 February 1980) was a historian and professor of Indian
1 Early life and education
4 Views on the Indian independence movement
7 External links
Early life and education
Born in Khandarpara, Faridpur, Bengal Presidency,
British India (now
in Bangladesh) on 4 December 1884, to Haladhara Majumdar and
Bidhumukhi. In 1905, he passed his Entrance Examination from
Ravenshaw College, Cuttack. In 1907, he passed F.A. with first
class scholarship from
Surendranath College and joined Presidency
College, Calcutta. Graduating in B.A.(Honours) and M.A. from
Calcutta University in 1909 and 1911 respectively, he won the
Premchand Roychand scholarship from the
University of Calcutta
University of Calcutta for his
research work in 1913.
Majumdar 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". In 1921 he become
professor of history in newly established University of Dacca. 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
Majumdar 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 establishes the College of Indology of
Nagpur University and
joined as principal. In 1958-59, he taught Indian history in the
University of Chicago
University of Chicago and University of Pennsylvania. He was also the
president of the Asiatic Society (1966–68) and the Bangiya Sahitya
Parishad (1968–69), also the Sheriff of Calcutta
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".
Historians such as
D. N. Jha
D. N. Jha has criticised some of Majumdar's works
for being "Hindu chauvinist" and "revivalist" in approach.
Views on the Indian independence movement
Government of India
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
The Early History of Bengal, Dacca, 1924.
Champa, Ancient Indian Colonies in the Far East, Vol.I, Lahore, 1927.
Suvarnadvipa, Ancient Indian Colonies in the Far East, Vol.II,
The History of Bengal, 1943. ISBN 81-7646-237-3 (digitized by the
Digital Library of India[permanent dead link])
Kambuja Desa Or An Ancient Hindu Colony In Cambodia, Madras, 1944
An Advanced History of India. London, 1960. ISBN 0-333-90298-X
The History and Culture of the Indian People, Bombay, 1951–1977 (in
Ancient India, 1977. ISBN 81-208-0436-8
History of the Freedom movement in India (in three volumes), Calcutta,
Vakataka – Gupta Age Circa 200–550 A.D. ISBN 81-208-0026-5
Main currents of Indian history ISBN 81-207-1654-X
Classical accounts of India
Hindu Colonies in the Far East, Calcutta, 1944,
India and South-East Asia, I.S.P.Q.S. History and Archaeology Series
Vol. 6, 1979, ISBN 81-7018-046-5.
The History of Ancient Lakshadweep, Calcutta, 1979
Corporate Life in Ancient India, Calcutta.
^ a b c d e Sarkar, H. B. (29 March 1980). "RAMESH CHANDRA MAJUMDAR".
Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. 61 (1/4):
361–365 – via JSTOR.
^ Shobhan Saxena (17 October 2010). "Why is our past an area of
darkness?". Times Of India. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
^ "Books". Spectrum. The Sunday Tribune. 3 September 2006. Retrieved
15 December 2012.
^ Corporate Life in Ancient India: Thesis. mcmaster.ca. Retrieved 17
D. N. Jha
D. N. Jha (1977). Ancient India: In Historical Outline. New Delhi,
India: Manohar. p. 176. ISBN 81-7304-285-3.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: R. C. Majumdar
Interview with Majumdar
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