For a budding economic historian, reading Dietmar Rothermund’s work on India can be an illuminating experience, given that apart from the works of Indian scholars on Indian economic history, Rothermund’s books provide a refreshing view of history. But what can be really special about this veteran historian is his extremely warm demeanour even to those decades junior to him in age and experience.
The first time I ever wrote to him, Dr Rothermund replied within a day, with generous praise for my ideas and thoughts. I didn’t expect this, given that my experience with academics in India has always been mixed. Some of them can really be unwelcoming of young scholars, with their tardy and brief responses, and this is where Rothermund stands out and makes it a humbling experience for someone like me.
Yesterday, Dr Rothermund turned 87 years old and continues writing. This year, two of his books have been released, and he has been kind enough to send a copy my way for the review. It will take a while, I guess, because the copy will come from Germany, but do look out for my review (reviewing these would be my privilege) when you can in a couple of weeks, hopefully.
A very happy birthday, sir. It’s wonderful to know you and read your work.