Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Monday, May 17, 2010

He taught us to think critically even about Marxism

from manindra thakur to  "Tusar N. Mohapatra" cc Nilanjan Sarkar date 17 May 2010 13:41 subject    Re: [वीआइपी वाक : VIP VAK] Prof. Bibek Brata Sarkar passes
Hello Nilanjan,
I am writing this on behalf of the students of your father Late prof. B.B. Sarkar. We would like to share our feelings with you about him as his death has taken away from us a great teacher. Some of us who joined Delhi University in 1985 as M. A. students found Dr. B.B. Sarkar as a great teacher who would allow free discussion in the class room, would invite critical comments and welcome rejection of his own ideas. He used to challenge us to think a fresh. He never asked us 'where did you read that', a question favorite to many teachers. He would accept all our childish questions as serious intellectual concerns and used to engage with us with utmost sincerity.
We still remember those discussions in the University Coffee House which used to be his favorite place for creative discussion. Many of those discussions have transformed our ways of thinking. He never told us meet me after fixing time, he was always ready to spend time and help us with his Socratic attitude towards knowledge. I am sure he has generated similar feelings in generations of students who were in touch with him. I remember Prof. Neera Chandhoke telling us that there used to be a 'Dr. Sarkar fan club' of which she was also a part. We found Prof. Mohanty always treating him as his teacher, instead of his colleague. I still remember Prof. Randhir Singh gave a condition that he would teach Marxist Theory only if Prof. Sarkar agrees to teach Liberal Theory. For years and years this combination was most widely appreciated by the students. He taught us to think critically even about Marxism and I still remember many of his ideas like 'McPherson being a pink philosopher', and 'Enlightenment as explosion in the superstructure'.
We all not only admired him but also carried his impression in our mind when we became teachers and always tried to follow his path in engaging in the relations with our students. He was essentially a teacher in the classical sense. He is living in our hearts and in our everyday life as a teacher. It is the body which has vanished but Dr. Sarkar as an idea is living and re-living. We all are with you and your family in the moments of this grief.

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