Renowned historian Hari Vasudevan dies of COVID-19 complications
Professor Vasudevan's work focused on Russian and European history and politics, and Indo-Russian relations.
The pandemic and its dance of death continues as renowned historian and professor emeritus of Calcutta University Hari S Vasudevan passed away on Saturday night due to COVID-19 induced complications.
Professor Vasudevan was 68 and suffering from other chronic diseases as well. The Kolkata resident was hospitalised on May 4 and on May 6 he was declared COVID positive. Soon his respiratory systems started failing and he was put on ventilator support on Friday.
Vasudevan was a brilliant historian specialising in Soviet and European history, and a legendary professor of Calcutta University. After his PhD from Cambridge University, he had decided to work from India and chose Calcutta University as his workplace.
Though he taught at Calcutta University, he had been affiliated with several leading institutions across the world during the course of his lifetime – Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi, King’s College in London, Presidency College in Kolkata, Cornell University in the US and Kiev University in the Ukraine.
The academician had also been a part of several government committees on history and education, including serving as chairman of the textbook development committee for the social sciences of NCERT from 2005. Until 2013, he served as director of the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Culture devoted to the study of Asia and India’s relations with the region.
Professor Vasudevan was a widely published author of academic books and articles, as well as a regular columnist for a number of newspapers, Vasudevan’s latest book was Footsteps of Afanasii Nikitin: Travels through Eurasia and India in the early 21st century (2015). It developed on research presented in his previous book, Shadows of Substance: Indo-Russian Trade and Military Technical Cooperation (2010), on India’s relations with Eurasia.
West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankar expressed condolences saying, "a multifaceted person, he made his mark while being involved in a formal consultative capacity with projects/institutions of the Ministry of Culture, MHRD, the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India and was Chairman of the Textbook Development Committee for the Social Sciences of the NCERT from 2005. His contributions to society will be ever recalled. May his soul rest in peace."
His last published article came out in April, where he spoke about the Russia-China border in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.