Sardar KM Panicker (1895-1963): The first Head, Department of History, AMU

The first Head of the Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University was Professor K M Panicker.

After a period as a professor at Aligarh Muslim University and later at University of Calcutta, he became editor of Hindustan Times in 1925. He then was appointed Secretary to the Chamber of Princes. Later he moved to Patiala State and then to Bikaner State as Foreign Minister later becoming the latter’s Prime Minister.

After India gained independence, Sardar Madhava Panicker represented the country at the 1947 session of the UN General Assembly. Two years later, in 1950, he was appointed India’s (the first non-Socialist country to recognize People’s Republic of China) Ambassador to China. After a successful tenure there, he went as Ambassador to Egypt in 1952.

He was also appointed a member of the States Reorganisation Commission set up in 1953 and was also India’s Ambassador to France and a member of Rajya Sabha. He also served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kashmir and the University of Mysore.

His interests stretched into diverse fields such as, art, notably novels, poetry and Kathakali and he wrote equally well in both Malayalam and English and published over 50 books and numerous articles. At Aligarh he wrote and completed his celebrated work in Harsha, the ruler of Kannauj. During the same period he also composed a work on Indian Nationalism.

Panicker’s interest in European influence on Asia was reflected in his studies of the Portuguese and the Dutch in Malabar (in South India) and especially in his Asia and Western Dominance (1953). In Two Chinas (1955) revealed his sympathy with Communist China.

Amongst his notable works in English the following can be included:

• 1920: Essays on Educational Reconstruction in India

• 1922: Sri Harsha of Kanauj: a monograph on the history of India in the first half of the 7th century A. D.

• 1923: Indian Nationalism: its origin, history, and ideals

• 1928: The Working of Dyarchy in India, 1919–1928

• 1929: The Evolution of British Policy towards Indian States, 1774–1858

• 1929: Malabar and the Portuguese: being a history of the relations of the Portuguese with Malabar from 1500 to 1663

• 1930: The Founding of the Kashmir State: a biography of Maharajah Gulab Singh, 1792–1858

• 1930: Federal India

• 1932: Indian States and the Government of India

• 1934: The New Empire: letters to a Conservative Member of Parliament on the future of England and India

• 1936: The Indian Princes in Council: a record of the chancellorship of His Highness, the Maharaja of Patiala, 1926–1931 and 1933–1936

• 1937: His Highness the Maharaja of Bikaner: a biography

• 1938: Hinduism and the modern world

• 1942: The States and the Constitutional Settlement

• 1943: Indian States

• 1944: The Strategic Problems of the Indian Ocean

• 1945: India and the Indian Ocean: an essay on the influence of sea power on Indian history

• 1947: India through the Ages

1953: Asia and Western Dominance: a survey of the Vasco Da Gama epoch of Asian history, 1498–1945

• 1954: A Survey of Indian History

• 1954: In Two Chinas: memoirs of a diplomat

• 1956: The Principles and Practice of Diplomacy

• 1957: Voice of Truth, a topical symposium: replies to attacks on Christians and missionaries in India

• 1957: India and China: a study of cultural relations

• 1958: The Determining Periods of Indian History

• 1960: A History of Kerala, 1498–1801

• 1960: The State and the Citizen

• 1961: Hindu Society at Cross Roads

• 1961: Essential Features of India Culture

1962: In Defence of Liberalism

• 1963: Studies in Indian History

• 1963: The Ideas of Sovereignty and State in Indian Political Thought

• 1963: The Foundations of New India

• 1963: The Himalayas in Indian Life

• 1964: A Survey of Indian History

• 1964: Hinduism & the West: a study in challenge and response

• 1964: The Serpent and the Crescent: a history of the Negro empires of western Africa

• 1965: Lectures on India’s Contact with the World in the pre-British Period

• 1966: The Twentieth Century

• 1967: Caste and Democracy & Prospects of Democracy in India

• 1969: Geographical Factors in Indian History

• 1977: An Autobiography

For further light on his contributions visit the following blog:

KM Panikkar