Historian Biswamoy Pati passes away

We, at LeftWord Books, are very sad about the sudden death of our friend and comrade Biswamoy Pati. Pati taught history at Delhi University, where he is widely regarded as a generous teacher and colleague. His scholarly work was wide-ranging, from immensely important closely researched work on the history of his native Odisha to his ground-breaking edited books on colonial medicine, Tilak and the 1857 rebellion. His first book - Resisting Domination: Peasants, Tribals and the National Movement in Orissa, 1920-1950 (Manohar, 1993) remains a classic. He was connected to the journal Social Scientist, for which he edited the book reviews. He was at the forefront of organising historians against the Hindutva assaults on history. In the present times, in particular, we need more historians to join that battle, and his loss will be felt acutely.

For us, Pati was a generous comrade – a jury member for our Young Scholars' Seminar (along with Vikas Rawal and Sumangala Damodran) in 2006, and a very astute advisor into the world of book reviews. It was impossible not to be infected with his optimism, enthusiasm and good cheer every time one met.
He was always ready to chat about our various LeftWord Books projects. We had spoken about a book for LeftWord based on a course he had done at Delhi University – on Marxism as a Method. That book, sadly, did not come to pass.
We shall miss his counsel and his friendship.