Vol. XL No. 51 December 18, 2016

Javeed Alam

EMINENT Scholar Prof. Javeed Alam who had been associated with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) from 1970 onwards, passed away in the early hours of December 5, 2016 after a brief illness. Born in 1943 in Hyderabad he came from a family which was deeply involved in the Telangana armed struggle led by the Communist Party against the feudal oppression of the Nizam and for land distribution to the peasantry.

After studying in Osmania University he had come to Delhi in 1966 to pursue his PhD. In 1970, after his marriage to Jayanti Guha, he was dismissed from Salwan College of Delhi University where he was teaching as the college management punished him for marrying a Hindu girl. Supported by the DTF led DUTA, as well as the students and employees of Delhi University, he and Jayanti fought back against this communal decision and won his job back.

In 1973, he joined Himachal Pradesh University as a lecturer. In 1975, he helped organise students, teachers and employees of HPU to protest the imposition of Emergency. This movement soon spread to other colleges of the state and through that to all parts of Himachal Pradesh. This helped lay the foundation for building the Party in the state. He also helped organise the CITU among government employees, casual labourers, municipal workers and hotel workers. Javeed Alam was instrumental in helping build up the Himachal Pradesh state committee in which he served for many years. Many of those who joined the Party under his influence are today in leadership positions in the Party in Himachal Pradesh.

Javeed Alam was a renowned scholar of politics, philosophy and Indian society. He brought in a rigorous Marxist approach to the study of social sciences and was an active participant in academic debates, defending Marxism and Communist politics. He held academic positions at the Centre for Study of Social Sciences, Kolkata, York University UK, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi and the Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi. He was the contributing editor of Social Scientist since 1985. As chairman of the Indian Council for Social Science Research (2008-11) he worked to increase public funding and protect the autonomy of social science research in India.