S. R. Mehrotra

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S.R. Mehrotra at his home in Shimla in 2016

Sri Ram Mehrotra (23 June 1931 – 17 July 2019) was an Indian professor of history and writer who published on the history of the Indian National Congress, including the life and work of its founder Allan Octavian Hume, and on the writings and philosophy of Gandhi. He also wrote on the life of Pranjivan Mehta, an important but little-known influence in the Indian independence movement and in the life of Gandhi. Known for his meticulous detail to sources and interpretations, he published several annotated collections of sources and letters relating to Hume and towards the end of his life, Dadabhai Naoroji.

Life and career[edit]

Mehrotra was born in Anantram, Etawah. He went to a local government school (which had been founded by A. O. Hume, an abiding professional interest in later life) and later to the University of Allahabad, receiving an M.A. in history in 1950 after which he went to the University of London from where he received a Ph.D. in 1960. His Ph.D. dissertation was published as a book India and the Commonwealth (1965). He then worked as a lecturer at the University of London. He then moved to India and became a founding professor in the department of history at the Himachal Pradesh University in 1971. He was a visiting professor at the University of Wisconsin in 1974 and Visiting Fellow at St. John's College, Cambridge 1983-84. He was Jawaharlal Nehru Professor at Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak and a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla.[1][2][3] Mehrotra received an honorary D.Litt. from Himachal Pradesh University in 2014, receiving the award from the Dalai Lama, honoured guest at the convocation ceremony.

Personal life[edit]

Mehrotra was married to historian Dr Eva Mehrotra from 24 July 1957 until her death. The couple had no children. On retirement he moved to Shimla where he lived at Seva, Kenfield Estate.[1] He died at his home in Shimla following a fall and hip injury.


Mehrotra's published works include:

  • Emergence of the Indian National Congress (1971, republished in 2004)
  • The Commonwealth and the Nation (1978)
  • Towards India’s Freedom and Partition (1979)
  • A History of the Indian National Congress: Volume One, 1885-1918 (1995)
  • M. K. Gandhi's Hind Swaraj: A Critical Edition (2010)
  • The Mahatma and the Doctor (2014)
  • (with Edward C. Moulton) Selected Writings of Allan Octavian Hume. Volume I (2004)

He also published numerous journal papers on the pre-Independence period that included such topics as the history of the British India Society,[4] the Landholders' Society,[5] the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha, as well as reviews of historical works.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]


  1. ^ a b International Who's Who of Authors and Writers 2004. Europa Publications. 2003. p. 380.
  2. ^ Patel, Dinyar (28 July 2019). "SR Mehrotra (1931-2019): A tireless chronicler of India's struggle for freedom". Scroll. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  3. ^ Mehrotra, S.R.; Patel, Dinyar, eds. (September 2013). Dadabhai Naoroji. Selected Private Papers. Oxford University Pres. pp. preface. ISBN 9780198076667.
  4. ^ Mehrotra, S.R. (1967). "The British India Society and its Bengal Branch, 1839-46". The Indian Economic & Social History Review. 4 (2): 131–154. doi:10.1177/001946466700400203. ISSN 0019-4646.
  5. ^ Mehrotra, S.R. (1966). "The Landholders' Society, 1838 - 44". The Indian Economic & Social History Review. 3 (4): 358–375. doi:10.1177/001946466600300403. ISSN 0019-4646.
  6. ^ Mehrotra, S. R. (2003). "Pathway to India's Partition". Indian Historical Review. 30 (1–2): 244–250. doi:10.1177/037698360303000227. ISSN 0376-9836.
  7. ^ Mehrotra, S. R. (1963). "On the use of the term 'commonwealth'". Journal of Commonwealth & Comparative Politics. 2 (1): 1–16.
  8. ^ Mehrotra, S.R. (1969). "The Poona Sarvajanik Sabha: The Early Phase (1870–1880)". The Indian Economic & Social History Review. 6 (3): 293–321. doi:10.1177/001946466900600303.
  9. ^ Mehrotra, S. R. (1970). "The congress and the partition of India". In Cyril Henry Philips; Mary Doreen Wainwright (eds.). The partition of India: Policies and perspectives 1947. Allen & Unwin.
  10. ^ Mehrotra, Sri Ram (1961). "Imperial federation and India, 1868–1917". Journal of Commonwealth & Comparative Politics 1.1. 1: 29–40. doi:10.1080/14662046108446957.
  11. ^ Mehrotra, S. R. (1963). "The Politics Behind the Montagu Declaration of 1917". Politics and Society in India: 71–96.
  12. ^ Mehrotra, S. R. (1980). "The Early Indian National Congress, 1885-1918: Ideals, Objectives and Organization". Essays in Modern Indian History: 45–48.
  13. ^ Mehrotra, S. R. (1961). "Gandhi and the British Commonwealth". India Quarterly. 17 (1): 44–57. doi:10.1177/097492846101700103.
  14. ^ Mehrotra, S. R. (1976). "Mid-Victorian Anti-Imperialists and India". The Indian Economic & Social History Review. 13 (2): 251–267. doi:10.1177/001946467601300205.
  15. ^ Mehrotra, S. R. (1997). "The Creation of Pakistan: The Triumph and Tragedy of Jinnah'". Indian Archives: 76–8.
  16. ^ Mehrotra, S. R. (1999). "The Making of a Nation: India's Road to Independence". Indian Historical Review. 26 (2): 250–251. doi:10.1177/037698369902600236.

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