|Biographical detail : ||India’s distinguished historian, journalist and writer.
Mushirul Hasan is the vice chancellor of the Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, and well-known historian, an award winning journalist, a prolific writer and an enlightened administrator. He has travelled extensively and has written numerous articles and books.
An unflinching liberal and a firm believer in dialogue amongst civilisations, he had spoken up fearlessly against the banning of Salman Rushdie’s ‘Satanic Verses’ in the late 1980s for which he was physically assaulted and verbally abused.
Mushirul Hasan is an eminent historian and an authority on Muslims in India. In his long and illustrious career as a professor of modern Indian history he has focused mostly on Muslims in India in his writings. He understands the concerns of the Muslims in pre-partition India, but he is of the belief that Muslims in India could have managed very well without partition.
He does not place the responsibility for the creation of Pakistan solely on the shoulders of the disgruntled Indian Muslims. The fire was fuelled by the various right wing elements in the majority Hindu community. He is convinced that Muslims and Hindus who have been ‘living together separately’ in India’s composite culture could have co-existed if the leadership had worked hard enough for it.
Mushirul Hasan is committed to secular and democratic values, resolving the dilemma of Indian Muslims, projecting the liberal and eclectic tenets of Islam, and strengthening social and cultural ties between India and Pakistan.
In his ‘A Moral Reckoning: Muslim Intellectuals in Nineteenth-Century Delhi’ (2005) he examines the writings of five important 19th century Delhites. His ‘Image and Representation: Stories of Muslim Lives in India’ (2000) is about inspiring tolerance and fellow-feeling amongst people through literature. And his ‘Inventing Boundaries: Gender, Politics and the Partition of India’ (2000) is a definitive work on India’s partition in 1947.
Mushirul Hasan, an erudite, gentle, cultured and dignified man who talks softly but firmly, was born in Calcutta.