Essays in Indian History

Towards a Marxist Perception

Irfan Habib

This collection brings together, for the first time, several seminal essays by Professor Irfan Habib interpreting the main currents in Indian history from a Marxist perspective. They cover a wide range of issues: the nature of evolution of caste through the centuries, the role played by the peasantry in Indian history, the forms of class struggle and the stage of development of the economy in Mughal India, the impact of colonialism on the Indian economy, the changes in Marx’s perceptions of India, the problems of Marxist historiography. Representing three decades of scholarship, each essay in this collection is painstakingly researched and unfailingly stimulating.


[Irfan Habib's] scholarship is formidable, his judgements are magisterial, and . . . his commitment as an intellectual and as a fighter for the cause of a socialist India is awe-inspiring. . . . [These essays] convey to s an idea of the vision which drives a historian of the stature of Irfan Habib. – Amiya Kumar Bagchi.

[Irfan Habib] is unfailingly stimulating in his unerring ability to pick out and problamatize the most important question. – Utsa Patnaik.

Irfan Habib

Irfan Habib is Professor Emeritus of History at the Aligarh Muslim University. He is the author of The Agrarian System of Mughal India, 1556–1707 (1963, revised edition 1999), An Atlas of the Mughal Empire (1982), Essays in Indian History: Towards a Marxist Perception (1995), Medieval India: The Study of a Civilization (2007), Economic History of Medieval India, 1200–1500 (with collaborators, 2011) and Atlas of Ancient Indian History (with Faiz Habib, 2012). He has co-edited The Cambridge Economic History of India, Vol. I, UNESCO’s History of Humanity, Vols. 4 and 5, and UNESCO’s History of Central Asia, Vol. 5. He is the General Editor of the People’s History of India series. He has published two monographs on modern Indian economic history and a study of certain aspects of the National Movement.

Other books by Irfan Habib