Madhavan K. Palat

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Madhavan K Palat (born 9 February 1947) is an Indian historian, scholar of modern world, and political commentator.[1][2][3] He is an expert on European and Russian history.[4][5][6][citation needed] In the course of an academic career extending over nearly four decades, he has played a seminal role in promoting understanding of Russian history, culture, literature, and society in India.[7][8][9]

Prof. Madhavan K. Palat


Madhavan Kezhkepat Palat was born in a distinguished family from the southern state of Kerala in India. His father, the late Mangat Gopal Menon, belonged to the Indian Civil Service (ICS).[10] After taking his B. A. (Honours) degree in history from the University of Delhi, (St. Stephen's College, Delhi), India, in 1966, Madhavan Palat read history at Christ's College, Cambridge (matriculation 1966), and was admitted to the B. A. degree in 1968. He then went on for graduate studies to St. Antony's College, Oxford, in 1969, where he pursued his research on modern Russian history and was awarded the in 1974.[11][12]

In 1974, Madhavan K Palat joined the faculty of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India, where, in 1989, he was appointed Professor of Russian and European History at the Centre for Historical Studies, a position he held until his voluntary retirement from the university in 2004.[13] He was also Dean, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University (2003–04).[14]

His area of specialisation, Russian history, is rare in a country where few historians have ventured out of Indian History.[15][16][17] From the time he joined the Centre for Historical Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University to the time he retired from there in 2004, Madhavan K. Palat was the pillar of research in non-Indian history.[18][19][20]

He was a Visiting Professor of Imperial Russian History at the University of Chicago (2006).[verification needed][21][22][23] Madhavan Palat is currently National Fellow, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla, India.[24][verification needed] He is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, a think tank based in New Delhi, India.[25]

Madhavan K. Palat has also held several other important positions, both in India and abroad. He is a Trustee of the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund. In 1991, Madhavan K. Palat was President of the Section on ‘Countries other than India’, Indian History Congress, where he delivered his lecture, Forms of Union: Russian Empires and the Soviet Union. During 1992–94, he was Senior Fellow, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, India. Between 2001 and 2003, he was a member of Eminent Persons Group, Governments of India and Russia, to advise on India–Russia relations. He was also Member, Committee on Indo-Russian Relations, Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi (2002). In 2002–03, Madhavan K Palat was Member, Committee on the National Defence University, Ministry of Defence, New Delhi. He was appointed Honorary Fellow, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata (2008).[26] Madhavan K Palat has been Member, Executive Council, Association of Indian Labour Historians, New Delhi since 1998.[27] From 1987 to 2006, he was Correspondent, Revue Européenne des Migrations internationales, I.N.E.D., Paris.[28] He has been Member, Council of the Association of Russian Philosophy, Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia since 2001. Madhavan Palat is also Associate Member, University of Chicago Centre for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies (CEERES) University of Chicago.[29]


Books and Edited Collections[edit]

  • Ideological Choices in Post-Soviet Russia, Delhi Policy Group, 1997.
  • Social Identities in Revolutionary Russia, ed. (Macmillan, Palgrave, UK, and St Martin's Press, New York, 2001).
  • History of Civilizations of Central Asia, ed., vol. 6, Towards the Contemporary Period: From The Mid-Nineteenth Century To The End Of The Twentieth Century, UNESCO, Paris 2005.
  • ‘Russia: The Time of Troubles,’ Special Number, Economic and Political Weekly, vol 28, no 51,18 December 1993, and translated the following articles from the Russian:
       a)V. V. Serbinenko, ‘Russian Idea and Prospects for Democracy,’ pp. 2793–2798.
       b)Leonid Shebarshin, ‘Reflections on the KGB in Russia,’ pp 2829–2832.
       c)Leokadia Drobizheva, ‘Russian Ethnic Attitudes in Changing PoliticalSituations,’
          pp. 2833–2836.
  • ‘The Russian Enigma,’ India International Centre Quarterly, Summer – Monsoon, 1994; also issued as Rethinking Russia, UBS Publishers, Delhi, 1994.
  • Modern Europe (Mid Eighteenth to Mid Twentieth Century), (B. A. Course Text Books for the Indira Gandhi National Open University), Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, 1998–1999.
  • The Modern World (M. A. Course Text Books for the Indira Gandhi National Open University), Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, 2004–2005.


  • ‘Police Socialism in Tsarist Russia, 1900–1905,’ Studies in History, vol 2, no 1, Jan – June 1986, pp 71–136.
  • ‘The Russian Conquest of Inner Asia,’ Societat Catalana d’Economia (Filial de l’Institut d’Estudios Catalans), Annuari, vol 7, Barcelona 1989, pp 120–127.
  • ‘Eurasianism as an Ideology for Russia’s Future’, in Economic and Political Weekly, vol 28, no 51, 18 December 1993, pp 2799–2809.
  • Politisch-geistige Strömungen im post-sowjetischen Zentralasien,’ (Politico-religious Trends in Post-Soviet Central Asia), Osteuropa, 1994, no 11, pp 1005–1022.
  • Evraziistvo – ideologiia budushchego Rossii,’ in E. P. Chelyshev, D. M. Shakhovskoi, eds, Kulturnoe nasledie rossiiskoi emigratsii, Nasledie, Moscow 1994, kniga 1, pp 80–87.
  • ‘The Modernity and Russianness of Alexander Pushkin’, The Book Review, vol 23, no. 7, July 1999, pp. 3–6.
  • ‘Minorities in the Soviet Union,’ D. L. Sheth & Gurpreet Mahajan, eds, Minority Identities and the Nation-State, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1999, pp 273–288; earlier in Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences (Journal of the Inter-University Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences, Shimla), vol 4, no 1, 1997, pp 175–189.
  • ‘Regulating Grievances through the Petition’, in Madhavan K. Palat, ed., Social Identities in Revolutionary Russia, Palgrave, UK, St Martin’s Press, New York, 2001, pp. 86–112.
  • Tezis o Rossii kak “normal’nom obshchestve” (Razmyshleniia po povodu knigi B. N. Mironova “Sotsial’naia istoriia Rossii perioda imperii”’, in Rossiia i sovremennyi mir, 4(33) 2001, pp. 144–159.
  • ‘Rabochii’, Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, (Neue Folge), Band 50, Heft 3, 2002, pp. 345–374.
  • ‘The British in Central Asia’, History of Civilizations of Central Asia, vol. 6, Towards the Contemporary Period: From The Mid-Nineteenth Century To The End Of The Twentieth Century, co-editors Madhavan K. Palat, Anara Tabyshalieva, UNESCO, Paris, pp. 103–123, 2002.
  • ‘The Evolution of Nation States’, History of Civilizations of Central Asia, vol. 6, Towards the Contemporary Period: From The Mid-Nineteenth Century To The End Of The Twentieth Century, co-editors Madhavan K. Palat, Anara Tabyshalieva, UNESCO, Paris, pp. 213–224, 2005.
  • ‘Casting Workers as an Estate in Late Imperial Russia,’ in Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, vol. 8, no. 2, Spring 2007, pp. 309–350.
  • ‘An Identity for Siberia’, in Suchandana Chatterjee et al. eds, Asiatic Russia: Partnerships and Communities in Eurasia, Maulana Abul Kalam Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata, Shipra Publications, 2009, pp. 1–14.
  • ‘Solzhenitsyn: Historian of Decline and Prophet of Resurrection,’ in L. I. Saraskina, ed., Put’ Solzhenitsyna v kontekste Bol’shogo Vremeni: Sbornik pamiati: 1918–2008, Russkii Put’, Moscow, 2009.


  1. ^ Colonialism, Culture, and Resistance, K.N. Panikkar, Oxford University Press, 2007, p.xi
  2. ^ Central Eurasian Reader: a biennial journal of critical bibliography and epistemology of Central Eurasian Studies, Volume 1, Stéphane A. Dudoignon, Schwarz, 2008, pp.215–216
  3. ^
  4. ^ The Social Sciences in Modern Japan: The Marxian and Modernist Traditions By Andrew E. Barshay, University of California Press,2007, p.260
  5. ^ Wege zu einer neuen Kulturgeschichte By Rudolf Vierhaus, Roger Chartier, 1995, p.62
  6. ^ Was bleibt von marxistischen Perspektiven in der Geschichtsforschung, Alf Lüdtke, Wallstein Verlag, 1997, p.4.
  7. ^ What is Soviet now?: identities, legacies, memories By Thomas Lahusen, Peter H. Solomon, LIT Verlag Münster, 2008, p.99.
  8. ^ A History of Russia since 1855, Walter Moss, Anthem Press, 2005, p. 205
  9. ^
  10. ^ The Hindu Metro Plus Chennai – Profiles, The last of the heaven born, 17 September 2009
  11. ^ Labour Legislation and Reform in Russia, 1905–1914, Madhavan K. Palat, Faculty of Modern History, University of Oxford, 1974, Unpublished Thesis, 820 pages
  12. ^ Encounter, Volume 38, Congress for Cultural Freedom, Martin Secker and Warburg, 1972, p.96.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Yeltsin to Putin: What Is the Difference? – Talk by Prof. Madhavan Palat at India International Centre, New Delhi, India, 28 February 2008
  16. ^ Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) Newsletter, 2004, Volume 3, Issue 2
  17. ^
  18. ^ Moderno Sistema Mundial, el- Tomo 3: Segunda Era de Gran Expansion de Economia-Mundo CA By Immanuel Maurice Wallerstein, Agradecimientos
  19. ^ Framing Geelani, Hanging Afzal: Patriotism in the Time of Terror, Nandita Haksar, 2007, p. 123
  20. ^ Madhavan K. Palat, 'Book Review on the Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order, India International Centre Quarterly, Vol. 25, no. 1, Spring 1998, p. 174-75
  21. ^
  22. ^ Directory of History Departments, Historical Organizations, and Historians, American Historical Association, Institutional Services Programme,2005, p.983.
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ Revue Européenne des Migrations Internationales, Numéro ouvert, vol. 7 – no1 | 1991, Éditorial, Yves CHARBIT, Madhavan PALAT
  29. ^

External links[edit]

(Extract from Professor Madhavan K. Palat's book, Social Identities in Revolutionary Russia)

(Madhavan Palat's comments on the eminent Indian historian, Partha Sarthi Gupta (1934–1999)