Approaching history from an Indo-centric angle has been a way of life for C.I. Issac. He has kept alive his passion for history even after retiring as an academic historian. And the years of hard work has now brought this 71-year-old from Kottayam the Padma Shri award.
“I regard the award as a great honour and recognition of my work as a social activist and a historian for about four-and-a-half decades,” Mr. Issac told The Hindu over phone on Wednesday.
Born at Karukachal in 1962, he is an alumnus of the History department at NSS Hindu College, Changanassery, and worked as a History Professor at the CMS College, Kottayam. Having superannuated from service in 2008, he has been appointed as the lone Christian member of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) under the Human Resources Development Ministry since 2015.
Mr. Issac has been closely associated with the Sangh Parivar organisations for the past several decades and also served as vice-president of the right-wing think-tank Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram. He has authored over 10 books.
His works have questioned the mainstream historical narratives on the nationalist movements in Kerala, especially the Malabar revolution led by Variamkunnath Kunhamed Haji. He had also been part of an ICHR sub-committee that recommended the removal of 382 moplah martyrs of the 1921 rebellion from the list of freedom fighters from the fifth volume of the Dictionary of Martyrs of India’s Freedom Struggle (1857-1947).
The award, according to Mr. Issac, will do a world of good to his social and academic activities. “I am currently working on a new book on history which is slated to be released later this year,” he added.