Rajan Gurukkal

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Rajan Gurukkal
Rajan Gurukkal (cropped).jpg
Prof. Rajan Gurukkal speaking at an event in 2007
Born (1948-05-15) 15 May 1948 (age 72), Kariyad, Kannur
Alma materUniversity of Calicut
Jawaharlal Nehru University
OccupationVice-Chairman Kerala State Higher Education council
Vice chancellor

Rajan Gurukkal (born 16 May 1948) is a leading Indian social scientist,[1] historian, professor and writer.[2] He has written many books and articles on different topics.[2] He has also received awards for his works.[2]

Gurukkal is generally considered as left-of-centre historian by political analysts.[3]


Puthen Madathil Rajan Gurukkal was born on 15 May 1948 in a northern Kerala village called Kariyad near Mahe in the Kannur District of India.[2] He did his schooling first in his family school at Kuruvattur in the Kozhikode District, and subsequently in Kariyad Nambiar's Upper Primary School and Ramavilasam Secondary School. Joined Government College, Madappally and Government Brennen College, Thalassery for his graduation. He received a postgraduate degree in history from the University of Calicut in 1972, with first class and first rank from the University, after which he took up teaching at the Union Christian College at Aluva in Kerala.[4] Later he completed his M.Phil in 1978 and PhD in 1985 in historical socio-economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.[2]

He has worked on different and several important posts such as the dean of faculty, member of the academic council, senate and syndicate of a few universities and social science research institutes and others. Former Vice-Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, India.[2][5] Currently he is a Sundararajan Visiting Professor at the Centre for Contemporary Studies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.[6] At present on 2019 dr.rajan gurukkal is serving as the vice chairman of kerala state higher education council.


Gurukkal began his career as a junior lecturer at Union Christian College, Aluva in 1972 as soon as he finished his postgraduation.[4] After completing his doctoral education, he joined as the teaching faculty at the Centre for Historical Studies of Jawaharlal Nehru University for some time before taking up the chair of Professor and director, School of Social Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala in 1988.[7] He took up the position at Mahatma Gandhi University upon the invitation of noted Kannada writer and the then University Vice-Chancellor U. R. Ananthamurthy.

Literary career[edit]

He has written six books in Malayalam and in English, on the topic of Socio-economic, cultural history of Kerala, structural anthropology, historical sociology, and human ecology of the Southern Western Ghats. He has also written many articles in various magazines and newspapers on current issues.[2]


  • Teacher Fellowship. Indian Council of Historical Research. 1977[2]
  • National Teacher Fellowship. University Grants Commission. 1980[2]
  • Oravakkal Mathen Memorial Best Academician Award. 1986[2]


  • Aryanisation of South India Dravidian Encyclopaedia, Trivandrum, 1983[2]
  • From the Royaly of Icons to the Divinity of Royalty : Aspects of Vaisnava Icons and Kingship in South India in R. Parimoo ed. Vaisnavism and Indian Art, Baroda, 1984.[2]
  • State and Society in South India 200 B.C to 300 A.D, History of India: Earliest Times to 800 A.D Indira Gandhi Open University. New Delhi. 1990.[2]
  • Early Social Formation of South India and Its Transitional Processes, in H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy, B. Surendra Rao, Kesavan Veluthat and S.A.Bari eds.[2]
  • Formation of Caste Society in Kerala : Historical Antecedents in K.L.Sharma ed. Caste and Class in Indian States, Delhi, 1994[2]
  • Towards a New Discourse: Discursive Processes in Early South India, in R. Champakalakshmi and S. Gopal (Eds.) [2]
  • Ideology, Essays in Honour of Romila Thapar, New Delhi, 1996.[2]
  • Recent Historiographic Dimensions on Early South Indian Socio-economics, in K.K.N.Kurup ed. New Dimensions in South Indian History[2]
  • Historical Materialism and History, in T.R. Venugopalan Ed. History and Theory, Government College Publications, Thrissur[2]
  • Social Formation in Iron Age South India, K. Surendra Rao and Kesavan Veluthat (Eds) Sheik Ali Felicitation Volume, Mangalore 2000.[2]


  • Levi-Strauss (Monograph in Malayalam), Viswadarsana publications, Trissur, 1986.[2]
  • History of Kerala, (book in Malayalam, jointly done with Raghava Varier) Vallathol Vidyapitham, Edappal, 1991.[2]
  • The Kerala Temple and the Early Medieval Agrarian System, Vallathol Vidyapitham, Edappal, 1992.[2]
  • Myth and Society (book in Malayalam, jointly done with Raghava Varier, Jalakam Publishers, Perambra, Kozhikode. 1994[2]
  • Cultural History of Kerala, vol. I. Department of Cultural Publications, Thiruvananthapuram, 1999.[2]
  • Forest Landscapes of the Southern Western Ghats, India jointly edited with B. Ramesh, French Institute, Pondicherry, 2007[2]
  • Social Formations of Early South India, OUP, 2009.[2]
  • Suice Trends in Kerala: Causes and Allevaiations, Monograph, Stat Planning Board, 2010[2]


  • Making of Modern Kerala, UGC Major Research Project, 1999–2001.
  • Ford Foundation Project on Historical Atlas of South India, in collaboration with the French Institute, Pondicherry (2006 April – 2008 April).
  • Fringe Area Socio-economic Study of the Periyar Tiger Reserve, World Bank Project (IEDP, 2002–03).
  • Socio-economic Sustainability Study, Periyar Tiger Reserve, World Bank Project (IEDP, 2003).
  • Sabarimala Enclave: Pilgrim Impact Assessment, Periyar Tiger Reserve, World Bank Project (IEDP, 2002–03).
  • Process Documentation Research, Periyar Tiger Reserve, World Bank Project (IEDP, 2003–04)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "History beyond the discipline : Abstracts & bibliographical analysis of the works of Prof. Rajan Gurukkal". E-Lis.Org. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac "Vice-Chancellor". Mahatma Gandhi University.ac.in. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  3. ^ November 30, M. G. Radhakrishnan; November 30, 1998 ISSUE DATE; April 11, 1998UPDATED; Ist, 2013 12:38. "ICHR member lashes out at panel of editors chosen to write cultural history of Kerala". India Today. Retrieved 1 March 2019.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ a b "UC College Department of History". uccollege.edu.in. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Rajan Gurukkal is new VC of MGU". Daily Hindu.com. 13 November 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  6. ^ "Centre for Contemporary Studies". CCS-IISc. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  7. ^ "Rajan Gurukkal to take over as MGU VC on Monday". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 8 December 2013.

External links[edit]