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Posted at: Feb 2, 2016, 2:13 AM; last updated: Feb 2, 2016, 2:13 AM (IST)

Prof Randhir Singh passes away

Prof Randhir Singh passes away
Prof Randhir Singh

Chandigarh: Eminent Marxist scholar and popular teacher of political theory Prof Randhir Singh passed away on Sunday night in Delhi. He was in his 90s. He had not been keeping well for the past two years and was staying with his daughter, who heads the architectural conservation department at Delhi's School of Planning and Architecture.

Prof Singh's ancestral village was Manuke in Moga district, though he grew up in Lahore where his father practised as a doctor. He was one of the founders of the student movement in the country in 1930s.

He remained in jail during India's freedom struggle in 1940s. Recounting those days, eminent historian Bipan Chandra wrote in his memoirs: “Among my near contemporaries was a communist student, now Prof Randhir Singh. I and many others were thrilled, despite our political differences, when we heard that he had stood first in MA political science, though he had appeared in the examination as a detenue."

Nepal's former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai mentioned “Prof Randhir Singh as one of the greatest Marxist scholars of our time”.

A popular anecdote was that when he would speak, students from other disciplines would stand in corridors outside the classrooms or around windows. He retired as a distinguished professor from Delhi University in 1987.

Dr Pramod Kumar, chairman, Punjab Governance Reforms Commission, recalled Prof Randhir Singh as one of the finest Marxist political theorists. “He belonged to a group of political thinkers who could interpret social reality in the language of people. With his death, a generation of committed pro-people academia has come to an end,” he said.

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