University of Rajasthan

Remembering S P Varma and N C Chatterjee by A H Somjee

A H Somjee

A.H. Somjee received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the London School of Economics. He is a charter member of the Simon Fraser University, Canada, where he is also an Emeritus Professor of Political Science. He has taught at the University of Baroda, the London School of Economics, University of Durham, and the National University of Singapore. He was also appointed as an Associate Fellow at the Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford University, and was invited to Harvard University, several times, as a Visiting Scholar.


Editor's note:

This article was written at the request of Prof. P C Mathur, a student and colleague of Prof. S P Varma at the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, who believes that Prof. Varma brought about a major change in the field of Political Science in India, and wants Prof. Varma to be remembered

S P Varma retired in 1973 as the Head, Department of Political Science, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur. He took his D.Phil. degree from Agra University. He was required to teach civics and politics during the British Rule, and he did a magnificent job of it. He deeply reflected on the nature of Indian democratic politics and produced a number of very useful books on the subject. He was widely regarded as a great teacher who produced a number of good students.

My Challenging, Fruitful M.A. in Economic and Public Administration

P C Mathur


Prakash, nicknamed ‘Titi’ by his dadi and called ‘PC’ by his friends was born in Alwar, a constituent Princely State of the Rajputana Agency since 1832, on June 1, 1940 in  diasporic family of civil service Kayasthas drenched in the Mughal-Muslim culture of Old Delhi. He is a University of Rajasthan faculty pensioner with a continuing passion for academic activity ‘To see Rajasthan better, To make Rajasthan better.’ He lives in Jaipur with his wife Shashi, and his daughter Sfoorti works in Gurgaon.

Getting there

When I was young, my father, a civil servant, was often transferred from one town to another in Rajasthan.

In 1953, when I was in Class 8, I took a State-level Board examination, and scored very good marks. Before this, I had studied in three different schools in three different towns (Alwar, Bharatpur and Jhalawar). I had two separate stints in the Happy School located at Alwar. This school still occupies a soft corner in my web of memories because it was a pioneer in adopting the world-famous Montessori method of teaching young children. More importantly, it provided a green ambience with plenty of trees to climb whose height was not a deterrent and their branches were low and strong enough to bear the weight of young primary-class students.

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