PROFESSOR APARNA BASU: AN OBITUARY FROM A FRIEND TO ONE OF THE FOUNDING EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS OF THE SOUTH ASIA JOURNAL

By M. Adil Khan 13 December 2018

Professor Aparna Basu, Ph. D. (Cantab) Emeritus Professor of History, University of Delhi and author of many books died on 3rd December 2018 at the ae of 87 at her Delhi home.

Few years back when Mr. Ghulam Suhrwardi, the publisher of the South Asia Journal (SAJ) mooted the idea to launch the internet-based journal and invited me to be one of its editorial members (which I readily accepted and obliged), he also asked me to nominate someone of high intellectual international repute to join the editorial board.

Professor Aparna Basu

Professor Aparna Basu whom I have known through her husband, Professor P. K. Basu, a former Secretary of Government of India came to my mind. Over the years both I and Yasmin, my wife became close friends of Aparna Boudi.

I approached Aparna Boudi to join the editorial board of SAJ and she readily agreed and remained as its editorial board member till last year. She was also on the Editorial Advisory Boards of Gender and History, Indian Economic and Social History Review, Indian Journal of Gender Studies and Women’s History. Professor Basu published extensively on many ground-braking issues especially on India’s women.

Aparna Basu came from an illustrious family – her father, Gaganvihari Lallubhai Mehta, Padma Vibhushan was India’s Ambassador to the United States from 1952 to 1958 and her father-in-law Mr. Birendra Kumar Basu, an Indian Civil Service (ICS) officer was the last Deputy Commissioner of Mymensingh (currently a district in Bangladesh) in 1947, the year India was partitioned.

Aparna Basu is survived by her husband, two daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren.

Leading a life of learning and honour this is the lesson that Aparna Basu has left for us to ponder, “Our children and students learn by observing what we do, not by what we say; by what we practice, not by what we preach.”

May the Almighty rest the soul of Aparna Basu in peace!

Dear Aparna Boudi, we all would miss you though you would always be with us!!

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