Irfan Habib (born 1931) is an Indian historian, a former Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research and a Padma Bhushan awardee. He is a Professor Emeritus at Aligarh Muslim University.
Habib is the son of Mohammad Habib
, a noted historian and freedom fighter
. His mother Sohaila was the daughter of Abbas Tyabji
, a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi
Irfan Habib completed his M.A. from Aligarh Muslim University
(AMU) and his D.Phil. from New College, Oxford
. He was Professor of History at Aligarh from 1969-91, as well as Co-ordinator/Chairman of the Centre of Advanced Study in History, AMU, during 1975-77 and 1984-94.
Habib has worked on the historical geography of Ancient India, the history of Indian technology, medieval administrative and economic history, colonialism and its impact on India, and historiography.
Amiya Kumar Bagchi describes Habib as "one of the two most prominent Marxist historians of India today and at the same time, one of the greatest living historians of India between the twelfth and eighteenth centuries.
- Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research during 1987-93.
- President, Indian History Congress, 1981.
- Radhakrishnan Lecturer, Oxford, 1991.
- Elected Corresponding Fellow, British Royal Historical Society, 1997.
- Professor Emeritus, Aligarh Muslim University,2007.
Philosophical and political views
Habib identifies himself as a Marxist
and uses marxist historiography
in his work.
- Among the first six Jawaharlal Nehru Fellows, 1968.
- Watumull Prize of American Historical Association, 1982. (Jointly with Tapan Raychaudhuri)
- Padma Bhushan, 2005.
- Muzaffar Ahmad Memorial Prize, 2006.
- Degree of Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa, from Banaras Hindu University, 2008.
- The Agrarian System of Mughal India 1556-1707. First published in 1963 by Asia Publishing House. Second, extensively revised, edition published in 1999 by Oxford University Press.
- An Atlas of the Mughal Empire: Political and Economic Maps With Detailed Notes, Bibliography, and Index. Oxford University Press, 1982
- Essays in Indian History - Towards a Marxist Perception. Tulika Books, 1995.
- The Economic History of Medieval India: A Survey. Tulika Books, 2001.
- People's History of India - Part 1: Prehistory. Aligarh Historians Society and Tulika Books, 2001.
- People’s History of India Part 2 : The Indus Civilization. Aligarh Historians Society and Tulika Books, 2002.
- A People's History of India Vol. 3 : The Vedic Age. (Co-author Vijay Kumar Thakur) Aligarh Historians Society and Tulika Books, 2003.
- A People's History of India - Vol 4 : Mauryan India. (Co-author Vivekanand Jha) Aligarh Historians Society and Tulika Books, 2004.
- A People's History of India - Vol 28 : Indian Economy, 1858-1914. Aligarh Historians Society and Tulika Books, 2006.Books Edited:
- The Cambridge Economic History of India - Volume I: 1200-1750 (co-editor Tapan Raychaudhari)
- UNESCO History of Civilizations of Central Asia, Vol 5 : Development in contrast: from the sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth century. (Co-editors Chahryar Adle and K M Baikapov)
- UNESCO History of Humanity, Vol 4: From the seventh to the sixteenth century. (With various co-editors).
- UNESCO History of Humanity, Vol 5: From the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. (With various co-editors).
- The Growth of Civilizations in India And Iran
- Sikh History from Persian Sources
- Akbar and His India
- India - Studies in the History of an Idea
- State & Diplomacy under Tipu Sultan
- Confronting Colonialism
- Medieval India - 1
- A World to Win - Essays on the Communist Manifesto (co-editors Aijaz Ahmed and Prakash Karat)