Historian A Sreedhara Menon Dies

Historian A Sreedhara Menon Dies
Eminent historian and academic Prof A Sreedhara Menon, who researched and wrote extensively on modern Kerala, died today, family sources said.

Menon, 84, had been keeping indifferent health for quite some time. He is survived by wife and two children.

A former head of History Department of Kerala University, Menon had taught and guided students for over five decades.

An authority on the political history of Kerala and author of nearly 25 books in English and Malayalam, his widely appreciated works included A survey of Kerala history, Triumph and tragedy in Travancore and a series on on Freedom struggle and Kerala.

Though an established academic all through his life, Menon's writings were appreciated by general readers as well because of their simple treatment of the subject and lucid style.

Despite steering clear of political or ideological bias, Menon had occasionally come under criticism from the Left due to his views on episodes in Kerala history like Communist-led Punnapra-Vayalar uprising against the royal rule in Travancore on the eve of the freedom struggle.

On the 60th anniversary of Independence, Menon was commissioned by the then LDF Government to write a history on the freedom struggle in Kerala. However, he pulled out of the project in protest against the directive that he should consult Marxist ideologues like E M S Namboodiripad in writing the work. Menon, later brought out the work on his own through a private publisher.

"Menon has made valuable contributions as a historian. It was through his works that the present generation learnt about Kerala history", eminent historian Prof M G S Narayanan said.

"Menon was a popular historian. His works could be read and relished by anybody. He also left an indelible mark as a teacher and an academic," said Rajan Gurukkal, historian and Vice-chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University.
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