Saturday, January 13, 2007


I had set up a site on the Indian historian D.D. Kosambi many years back, perhaps in the late nineties, as a tribute to a man who has contributed so much to applying the dialectical method in investigating ancient Indian history. In my student days, it was very inspiring to have read his books starting with The Culture and Civilisation of Ancient India in Historical Outline. Over the years I have received a number of emails from those interested in the life and works of D.D. Kosambi.

A lot more material is now available on the internet about D.D. Kosambi than when I started out. My initial project was to scan and make available on the internet works by the number of Marxists that have contributed to our understanding of India and its history. For various reasons, the original project never beyond putting up some of his works online.

Only a few months back, I was amazed to find that Arvind Gupta has made available all the significant works by Kosambi on the internet. It lessens my feeling of guilt at not having completed my initial project.

Since his death in 1966, many of Kosambi's formulations have been disapproved. Still, his works retain their significance for their pioneering efforts and rigour that has laid the foundations of modern Indian historiography.

His quintessentially humanistic streak that still inspires many to read his works is reflected in his own words.
"The subtle mystic philosophies, torturous religions, ornate literature, monuments teeming with intricate sculpture and delicate music of India all derive from the same historical process that produced the famished apathy of the villager, senseless opportunism and termite greed of the ‘cultured’ strata, sullen, uncoordinated discontent among the workers, general demoralization, misery, squalor and degrading superstition. The one is the result of the other, one is the expression of the other…it is necessary to understand that history is not a sequence of haphazard events but is made by human beings in the satisfaction of daily needs."
This blog will serve the purpose of collecting links to internet resources on Damodar Dharmanand Kosambi and his works. There is a Wikipedia entry on Kosambi now, and has a number of useful links, this blog will supplement the Wiki entry and link to a wider range of information on the internet.


Carvaka said...

Thanks a lot for this site and your efforts in keeping DD Kosambi alive on the web.

bhupinder said...

Thanks, Carvaka. Welcome to the small but dedicated number of Kosambi's admirers!

Vivek said...


I have been hearing of this blog for the last several months but accessed it only today.

The main reason for this is to inform you all (in case you don't already know it) of the web alert on the DD Kosambi Festival of Ideas to be held in Panaji early next week. Details are available at

It would be nice if transcripts (or links to them) of the lectures/discussions at the festival could be made available on this blog.

readerswords said...

Thanks a lot, Vivek. I have posted the announcement here as well as at

If you can indicate where the transcripts will be available at, I will be very happy to link to them.


krishna said...

hi readerswords...thanks for giving a link to my blog...a very interesting site indeed about the iconic one level trying to do a kosambi with kids myself but at the same time like what Makarand Paranjape mentions in his critique of Kosambi's critique of the Geetha, I also try to balance out the materialistic with the aesthetic dimension...i welcome you to visit my site more often leaving behind your bouquets and brickbats..

just curious to know a little more about you...who you actually are and what you do, where u live etc etc...

readerswords said...

Thanks for your comments, Krishna, and for visiting this site.

You can check out my other site: for more about myself :-)

InChow said...

Thanks for a wonderful site. Here is an unusual bit about DD Kosambi's myriad interests. I wrote about in a my popular history column "Postcards from the Past" for Bangalore Mid Day. Just click on the link below. Indira Chowdhury

Kosambi: An Unusual Scholar :

readerswords said...

It is indeed an unusual aspect but then I had never expected to find DDK's book written for children either!

Can you send me a Word or plain text version to as converting the pdf to text is a bit cumbersome. If not, then I will convert in a couple of days and post it. Thanks.

sukhjot singh said...

i think ram sharan shamra works also be dicussed and avialble online........