R. C. Majumdar

Last updated

R. C. Majumdar
R. C. Majumdar.jpg
Vice-Chancellor of University of Dhaka
In office
1 January 1937 30 June 1942
Preceded by A. F. Rahman
Succeeded by Mahmud Hasan
Personal details
Born(1884-12-04)4 December 1884
Khandapara, Faridpur, Bengal Presidency, British India
Died11 February 1980(1980-02-11) (aged 95)
Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Alma mater University of Calcutta

Ramesh Chandra Majumdar (known as R. C. Majumdar; 4 December 1884 – 11 February 1980) [1] was a historian and professor of Indian history. [2] [3]

History of India Aspect of history

After their origin in Africa, anatomically modern humans first arrived on the Indian subcontinent between 73,000 and 55,000 years ago. Settled life, which involves the transition from foraging to farming and pastoralism, began in South Asia around 7,000 BCE. At the site of Mehrgarh, Balochistan, presence can be documented of the domestication of wheat and barley, rapidly followed by that of goats, sheep, and cattle. By 4,500 BCE, settled life had become more widely prevalent, and eventually evolved into the Indus Valley Civilization, an early civilization of the Old world, contemporaneous with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. It flourished between 2,500 BCE and 1900 BCE in what today is Pakistan and north-western India, and was noted for its urban planning, baked brick houses, elaborate drainage, and water supply.


Early life and education

Coming from a Kayastha family, Majumdar was born in Khandarpara, Faridpur, Bengal Presidency, British India (now in Bangladesh) on 4 December 1884, to Haladhara Majumdar and Bidhumukhi. [1] In 1905, he passed his Entrance Examination from Ravenshaw College, Cuttack. [1] In 1907, he passed F.A. with first class scholarship from Surendranath College and joined Presidency College, Calcutta. [1] 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 for his research work in 1913. [1]

Kayastha Origin of Kayasthas

Kayastha is a group consisting of a cluster of several different castes of different origin in India. Kayasthas have traditionally acted as scribes, keepers of public records and accounts, and administrators of the state.

Faridpur District District in Dhaka Division, Bangladesh

Faridpur is a district in south-central Bangladesh. It is a part of the Dhaka Division. It is bounded by the Padma River to its northeast. The district is named after the municipality of Faridpur. Historically, the town was known as Fatehabad. It was also called Haveli Mahal Fatehabad.

Bengal Presidency administrative unit in British India

The Bengal Presidency (1757–1912), later reorganized as the Bengal Province (1912–1947), was once the largest subdivision (presidency) of British India following the dissolution of the Mughal Bengal, with its seat in Calcutta. It was primarily centred in the Bengal region. At its territorial peak in the 19th century, the presidency extended from the present-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan in the west to Burma, Singapore and Penang in the east. The Governor of Bengal was concurrently the Viceroy of India for many years. Most of the presidency's territories were eventually incorporated into other British Indian provinces and crown colonies. In 1905, Bengal proper was partitioned, with Eastern Bengal and Assam headquartered in Dacca and Shillong. British India was reorganised in 1912 and the presidency was reunited into a single Bengali-speaking province.


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". [4] In 1921 he became 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 mankind.[ citation needed ]

Jagannath Hall

Jagannath Hall of Dhaka University is a residence hall for minority students, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, and others. It is one of the three original residence halls that date from when the University was founded in 1921, and like them is modelled on the colleges of the University of Oxford, a complex of buildings including residences, meeting rooms, dining rooms, a prayer hall, gardens, and sporting facilities. Of the approximately 2000 students of the hall, half live in the residences, and half are non-residential students affiliated with the college. Several professors at the university hold the positions of house tutors and provost at the hall.

Dean is a title employed in academic administrations such as colleges or universities for a person with significant authority over a specific academic unit, over a specific area of concern, or both. Deans are common in private preparatory schools, and occasionally found in middle schools and high schools as well.

Indian History Congress is the largest professional and academic body of Indian historians with over 10,000 members. It was established in 1935. The name of any new applicant for membership needs to be proposed and seconded by existing Ordinary or Life Members.


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 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 (1967–68).[ citation needed ]

University of Chicago Private research university in Chicago, Illinois, United States

The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1890, the school is located on a 217-acre campus in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, near Lake Michigan. The University of Chicago holds top-ten positions in various national and international rankings.

University of Pennsylvania Private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is one of the nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence and the first institution of higher learning in the United States to refer to itself as a university. Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

Bangiya Sahitya Parishad

Bangiya Sahitya Parishad is a literary society in Bengal. Established during the time of the Raj, its goal is to promote Bengali literature, both by translating works in other languages to Bengali and promoting the production of original Bengali literature.

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".[ citation needed ]

The History and Culture of the Indian People is a series of eleven volumes on the history of India, from prehistoric times to the establishment of the modern state in 1947. Historian Ramesh Chandra Majumdar was the general editor of the series, as well as a major contributor. The entire work took 26 years to complete. The set was published in India by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai.

Views on the Indian independence movement

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.[ citation needed ]

Government of India Legislative, executive and judiciary powers of India

The Government of India, often abbreviated as GoI, is the union government created by the constitution of India as the legislative, executive and judicial authority of the union of 29 states and seven union territories of a constitutionally democratic republic. It is located in New Delhi, the capital of India.

Partition of Bengal (1905)

The decision to effect the Partition of Bengal was announced on 19 July 1905 by the Viceroy of India, Curzon. The partition took place on 16 October 1905 and separated the largely Muslim eastern areas from the largely Hindu western areas. The Hindus of West Bengal who dominated Bengal's business and rural life complained that the division would make them a minority in a province that would incorporate the province of Bihar and Orissa. Hindus were outraged at what they saw as a "divide and rule" policy, even though Curzon stressed it would produce administrative efficiency. The partition animated the Muslims to form their own national organization on communal lines. In order to appease Bengali sentiment, Bengal was reunited by Lord Hardinge in 1911, in response to the Swadeshi movement's riots in protest against the policy and the growing belief among Hindus that east Bengal would have its own courts and policies.

Swami Vivekananda Indian Hindu monk and philosopher

Swami Vivekananda, born Narendranath Datta, was an Indian Hindu monk, a chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna. He was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century. He was a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India, and contributed to the concept of nationalism in colonial India. Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission. He is perhaps best known for his speech which began with the words - "Sisters and brothers of America ...," in which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893.


Related Research Articles

Hinduism in Southeast Asia

Hinduism in Southeast Asia has a profound impact on the region's cultural development and its history. As the Indic scripts were introduced from India, people of Southeast Asia entered the historical period by producing their earliest inscriptions around the 1st to 5th century CE. Today, the only practicing Hindus in Southeast Asia other than Overseas Indians are the Balinese and Tenggerese minorities in Indonesia, and the Cham minority in Cambodia and southern Vietnam.

Syama Prasad Mukherjee Indian politician, barrister and academician

Syama Prasad Mukherjee was an Indian politician, barrister and academician, who served as the Minister for Industry and Supply in Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's cabinet. After falling out with Nehru, Mukherjee quit the Indian National Congress because of differences of opinion with Nehru led government on the issue of Jammu & Kashmir. With the help of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, he founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the predecessor to the Bharatiya Janata Party, in 1951.

Greater India historical extent of the culture of India beyond the Indian subcontinent

The Indian cultural sphere or Indosphere is an area that composes of the many countries and regions in South and Southeast Asia that were historically influenced by Indian culture and the Sanskrit language. The term Greater India is used to encompass the historical and geographic extent of all political entities of the Indian subcontinent, and the regions which are culturally linked to India or received significant Sanskritization and Indian cultural influence. These countries have varying degrees been transformed by the acceptance and induction of cultural and institutional elements of India. Since around 500 BCE, Asia's expanding land and maritime trade had resulted in prolonged socio-economic and cultural stimulation and diffusion of Hindu and Buddhist beliefs into the region's cosmology, in particular in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka. In Central Asia, transmission of ideas were predominantly of a religious nature.


King Shashanka created the first separate political entity in the Bengal region of the Indian subcontinent, called the Gauda Kingdom and is a major figure in Bengali history. He reigned in 7th century AD, and some historians place his rule approximately between 590 AD and 625 AD. He is the contemporary of Harsha and of Bhaskaravarman of Kamarupa. His capital was at Karnasubarna, in present-day Murshidabad in West Bengal. The development of the Bengali calendar is often attributed to Shashanka because the starting date falls within his reign.

History of Bengal Hindu is a great relegion

The history of Bengal is intertwined with the history of the broader Indian subcontinent and the surrounding regions of South Asia and Southeast Asia. It includes modern-day Bangladesh and the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura and Assam's Barak Valley, located in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent, at the apex of the Bay of Bengal and dominated by the fertile Ganges delta. The advancement of civilisation in Bengal dates back four millennia. The region was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as Gangaridai. The Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers act as a geographic marker of the region, but also connects the region to the broader Indian subcontinent. Bengal, at times, has played an important role in the history of the Indian subcontinent.

This is an introduction to some of the books and novels written about Southeast Asia.

Rakhaldas Bandyopadhyay, also known as R D Banerji was an eminent Indian Archaeologist & Museum expert. He was the Manindra Chandra Nandy Professor of Ancient Indian History and Culture at the Banaras Hindu University from 1928–30. He is mostly known as the discoverer of Mohenjo-daro, the principal site of the Harappa culture.

India–Myanmar relations Diplomatic relations between the Republic of India and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar

Bilateral relations between Myanmar and the Republic of India have improved considerably since 1993, overcoming tensions related to drug trafficking, the suppression of democracy and the rule of the military junta in Myanmar. Myanmar is located south of the states of Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India. The Indo-Burmese border stretches over 1,600 kilometres.

India–Vietnam relations Diplomatic relations between the Republic of India and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam

The Republic of India and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam enjoy strong bilateral relations.

India–Indonesia relations Diplomatic relations between the Republic of India and the Republic of Indonesia

Indian-Indonesian relations refer to the bilateral relations of India and Indonesia. India and Indonesia are neighbours. India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Indonesia along the Andaman Sea.

India–Malaysia relations Diplomatic relations between the Republic of India and Malaysia

India–Malaysia relations refer to bilateral foreign relations between the India and Malaysia. India has a high commission in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has a high commission in New Delhi and a consulate general in Chennai and Mumbai. Both countries are full members of the Commonwealth of Nations, Asian Union and G15. India and Malaysia are also connected by various cultural and historical ties that date back to antiquity. The two countries are on excellently friendly terms with each other seeing as Malaysia is home to a strong concentration of Indian immigrants. Mahathir Mohamad, the fourth and longest serving Prime Minister of Malaysia has Indian ancestry. On trade front their bilateral trade volume stands at $10.5 billion and is poised to reach $25 billion by 2020.

Haridas Bhattacharyya (1891–1956) was a Bengali Indian philosopher, author and educationist, known for his works on comparative religion.

India–Thailand relations Diplomatic relations between the Republic of India and the Kingdom of Thailand

Diplomatic relations between India and Thailand were established in 1947, soon after India gained independence. India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand along the Andaman Sea. The past few years since 2001 have witnessed growing warmth, increasing economic and commercial links, exchange of high-level visits on both sides, and the signing of a large number of Agreements leading to a further intensification of relations. Thailand and India are cooperating in various multilateral fora like India's dialogue partnership with ASEAN, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the East Asia Summit, the sub-regional grouping BIMSTEC involving Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan, and trilateral transport linkages with Thailand, Myanmar and India. India is a member of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) initiated by Thailand in 2002 and of the Mekong–Ganga Cooperation (MGC), a group of six countries.


Harikela was a kingdom in ancient Bengal encompassing much of the eastern regions of the Indian Subcontinent. There are numerous references to the kingdom in historical texts as well as archeological artifacts including silver coinage.

Hem Chandra Raychaudhuri was an Indian historian, known for his studies on ancient India.

Niralamba Swami Indian philosopher

Jatindra Nath Banerjee was one of two great Indian nationalists and freedom fighters – along with Aurobindo Ghosh – who dramatically rose to prominence between 1871 and 1910.

Sarasi Kumar Saraswati was a Bangladeshi historian of art and architecture.

Cambodia–India relations Diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Republic of India

Cambodia–India relations refers to the bilateral ties between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Republic of India. Cambodia has an embassy in New Delhi, and India has an embassy in Phnom Penh.

Southeast Asia was under Indian influence starting around 300 BC until around the 15th century, when Hindu-Buddhist influence was absorbed by local politics. Kingdoms in the south east coast of the Indian Subcontinent had established trade, cultural and political relations with Southeast Asian kingdoms in Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, Malay Peninsula, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Rajendra Chandra Hazra was a scholar and Sanskritist known for his studies of Puranic literature. During an academic career spanning over four decades he wrote about 10 books and over 200 research articles on subjects ranging from his central interest in Smriti literature to "the Vedas, Vyākaraṇas, Kāvya, anthology, archaeology, world-history, paleography, and the Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika systems of philosophy."


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Sarkar, H. B. (29 March 1980). "RAMESH CHANDRA MAJUMDAR". Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. 61 (1/4): 361–365. JSTOR   41691933.
  2. Shobhan Saxena (17 October 2010). "Why is our past an area of darkness?". Times Of India. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  3. "Books". Spectrum. The Sunday Tribune. 3 September 2006. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  4. Corporate Life in Ancient India: Thesis. mcmaster.ca. Retrieved 17 November 2013