Mumbai, July 22 (IANS) Renowned historian J.V. Naik, who chronicled the history of modern Maharashtra, passed away at a private hospital here on Monday following renal failure, a family member said. He was 85.
He is survived by his wife Neela, daughters Sharmila, Gauri, Shraddha and son Udayan.
“The last rites were completed at the Bandra east crematorium this afternoon,” Udayan told IANS.
Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao expressed grief over Naik’s passing, describing it as “a great loss to the field of historical research”.
“He had the honour of being selected as General President of Indian History Congress, made invaluable research on important individuals and events shaping the history of India, and guided several research scholars during his long and illustrious career,” he said.
Born in Goa’s Sanvordem village in a lower-middle class family, Naik completed his early education there before coming to Mumbai for his higher education at Khalsa College and the Jaihind College.
Later, he taught history at the Elphinstone and Ismail Yusuf Colleges and also served as the Professor and Head of the History Department at the University of Mumbai.
On being awarded a Fellowship of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute for Research, Naik travelled to Canada for delivering lectures at several universities there, and later at various international conferences in India and abroad.
He also served as the President of the prestigious Indian History Congress, delivered many top endowment lectures, was a University Grants Commission Visiting Fellow at M.S. University, Vadodara and Shivaji University, Kolapur.
Though his numerous research papers, he made significant contributions for a better understanding of the 19th century Maharashtrian renaissance and the history of the quest for social justice in the country, and his authoritative sketches on the 19th century leading luminaries of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency.
Around 2016, the Asiatic Society of Mumbai brought out a massive volume of Naik’s essays on the “reform and renaissance in 19th century Maharashtra”.
Active till his demise, he was the Trustee of Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum and the Asiatic Society of Mumbai.