He was speaking on ‘D.D. Kosambi’s contribution to history’, a seminar organised by the Centre for Gandhian and Peace Studies, a constituent of Manipal University, and the Centre for Vedic and Linguistic Inquiry, here on Saturday.

According to a press release issued here on Sunday, Prof. Surendra Rao said that Kosambi considered himself a Marxist, but “official Marxists” did not consider him as a Marxist. In this context, the differences between Kosambi and S.A. Dange were worth noting, he said.

A historian was one who looked at the present rooted in the past. Myth was a different order of reality. Socialism would not be redundant so long as there was socio-economic injustice.
In his ‘Exasperating Essays’ and ‘Myth and Reality’, Kosambi was precisely trying to make use of this perspective. Eminent historians such as Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib had profusely acknowledged Kosambi’s contribution to history, Prof. Rao added.

K.P. Rao, software expert and Director of Centre for Vedic and Linguistic Inquiry, said that about five decades ago, Kosambi argued in favour of solar energy against atomic energy even while working with nuclear scientist Homi J. Bhabha.

Recalling his memories and association with both Kosambi and Bhabha, Prof. K.P. Rao said that Kosambi was then itself quite concerned about the “rise in temperature” of the world. It was Kosambi’s hope that sun being the “natural source of energy” was the way forward. On this point, he parted ways with Bhabha in Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, he said. Responding to the view that Kosambi was a Marxist, Prof. K.P. Rao said, “If this is Marxism, then Marxists are welcome.”

Varadesh Hiregange, Director of Gandhian and Peace Studies, who delivered a lecture on Prabhaker Acharya’s essay on Kosambi’s thesis with regard to ‘Urvasi myth of Rigveda’, said Kosambi’s approach to Rigveda was anthropological.