[INDOLOGY] sad news - Rajesh Kochhar (1946-2022)

Asko Parpola aparpola at gmail.com
Sun Mar 13 14:42:09 UTC 2022

Professor Sharada Srinivasan (National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore) has just communicated to me the sad news:
“I am writing to break the sad news of the passing of Prof Rajesh Kochar.  As a scientist he was active in history of science and was a brave voice for scientific temper etc in these times. He recently wrote a piece countering the more fanciful claims of the IITK calendar about Harappans and Vedic correlations etc.”

I knew Professor Kochhar from personal meetings - last time during his visit to Finland in 2010. 
Rajesh K. Kochhar was born in 1946, took his M. Sc. in Physics 1967 and Ph. D. 1973 from the Panjab University in Chandigarh, where he was an Honorary Professor in the Department of Mathematics.  He was Professor of Astrophysics at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics in Bangalore from 1991 to 2017 and Director of the National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies in New Delhi 1991-2006. 

I highly appreciate his book The Vedic people: Their history and geography, New Delhi: Orient Longman Ltd., 2000. xiv, 259 pp., maps.

As examples of his papers relevant to Indology one may mention “Pre-telescopic astronomy in India." Pp. 171-197 in A. Rahman (ed.), History of Science, Technology and Culture. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2001, and “Rahu and Ketu in mythological and ‘astronomological’ contexts”, Indian Journal of History of Science 45 (2), 2010: 287-297.

He wrote papers on a very vast array of historical and cultural topics, as can be seen from his net-site 
http://rajeshkochhar.com <http://rajeshkochhar.com/>

Rajesh Kochhar was a dynamic scholar and a brave and positive person.

Asko Parpola, 
Professor emeritus of Indology,
University of Helsinki, Finland

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