The University of Hyderabad (UoH) organized a Distinguished Lecture by Professor Irfan Habib, well known Historian titled “Interpreting Secularism” on October 24, 2013 at the DST Auditorium on the campus.


Prof. Habib addressing a packed auditorium at the UoH said that Modern ideals of democracy and secularism can be derived from the legacy of the French revolution. In India the motion of Indian secularism was derived under the influence of Sir Savepalli Radhakrishna, who defined a different concept in the Indian case. This different definition was not entirely helpful, he added.

The idea of uniform civil code is a good one, but it was not necessary to use the term “uniform” which caused a lot of confusion, said Prof. Habib. He stated that the Indian state should desist from following the policies of appeasing religious communities, whether majority or minority. He also added that the schools and colleges must not promote teaching any religion.


Prof. 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. Prof. 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-coordinator / Chairman of the Centre of Advanced Study in History, AMU during 1975-77 and 1984-94. Prof. Habib is presently appointed as Professor Emeritus at the Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University. His works are on the Agrarian System of Mughal India, Atlases of Mughal Empire and Ancient India, Medieval Science and Technology, Medieval Indian Economy and Interpreting Indian History.

Dr. V Rajagopal, Department of History introduced the speaker while Prof. Rekha Pande, Head, Department of History proposed a vote of thanks. Prof. Ramakrishna Ramaswamy, Vice-Chancellor, UoH presided over the lecture.