|Alma mater||University of Calcutta Presidency College|
Sumit Sarkar (born 1939) is an Indian historian of modern India. He is the author of Swadeshi Movement.
He studied at Presidency College, Calcutta and at the University of Calcutta. He taught for many years as a lecturer at the University of Calcutta, and later as a reader at the University of Burdwan. He was Professor of History at the University of Delhi.
He was one of the founding members of the Subaltern Studies Collective, but later distanced himself from the project. He noted that arguments made by the later issues of the journal as well as books by Partha Chatterjee in that they blanketly criticized the Enlightenment, the nation-state and secularism lined up with indigenist critiques that were at home with the Hindu right. In his view this error was traceable to a basic confusion in the early project that posed an absolute separation between the elite and subaltern domains.
He was awarded the Rabindra Puraskar literary award for his book Writing Social History by the West Bengal government in 2004. He returned the award in 2007 in protest against the expulsion of farmers from their land.
He contributed a volume to the Towards Freedom project of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), publication of which was blocked in 2000 by the ICHR under the influence of then Indian government administered by the Bharatiya Janata Party as alleged by Sarkar. The publication of the volume was eventually allowed by the Government of India once the Congress party came to power after the general election of 2004.