Sunday, May 16, 2010

Prof. Bibek Brata Sarkar passes

Hi Everyone,
I am writing to inform you all that my father Bibek Brata Sarkar died around noon today, 16 May 2010. […] Born in Pabna (in modern Bangladesh) on 14 June 1934, […] He moved to Delhi in 1956 and enrolled for a PhD at the University of Delhi with Professor M. K. Haldar; his father had moved to Delhi in 1946 as Bureau Chief of the United Press of India. Having been active in student politics -- a bit too active in his father's opinion, since he missed a year in college because of his political activities -- my father decided to apply that knowledge to his PhD, awarded to him in 1963 on 'The Socialist Movement in India, 1919-1945'.
Straitened family circumstances following the sudden death of his father meant that my father had to look for odd jobs (working as a 'sales boy' for 10 months at the International Fair in the Exhibition Grounds, now called Pragati Maidan, in Delhi; and doing radio-plays for Voice of America) before getting part-time teaching assignments in Ramjas College and Dyal Singh College. In 1964 he got a permanent job in Kirori Mal College, where he would remain till 1982. Threafter he joined the post-graduate Department of Political Science, from where he retired in 1999. […]
A fashionable thinker and speaker, the quintessential gentile Bengali bhadralok, he was a liberal man with commitedly Left political views. (How could any sensible person not feel what the Left ideology asks them to feel was his argument, always put as simply as that!) He called himself a Social Democrat, and I always said that that was convenient way out! With this twinning came so much else that many have come to identify with him -- cigarettes and back-brushed hair, fashionably spoken English, and the subject of his choice -- the relentless critique of society and its inequalities through political theories and models based on them. Nilanjan

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