People who knew him, the death of B S Harishankar, 55, eminent author, intellectual, researcher and a prolific author was devastating to say the least. He breathed his last on August 27, 2022 after a massive heart attack. An incisive researcher and intellectual, he was a great asset to the Hindutva movement in Kerala. His columns and books were highly praised for their academic rigour, extensive research and ideological clarity. He was a regular contributor to the Organiser.
Harishankar’s doctorate was from Deccan School of Indology. He had participated in Mohenjo-daro excavations. He was a member of Indian Institute of Advanced Studies and former Film Censor Board Member. A protégé of late Shri P Parameswaran and historian S P Gupta, Harishankar has authored several important books that helped challenge the set narrative of the Islamists and Leftists. Harishankar was instrumental in exposing the evangelical and anti-Hindu agenda behind the Pattanam excavations, initially carried out by Marxist-controlled Kerala Council of Historical Research.
As an archaeologist he had closely worked with historian SP Gupta and Prof Vasant Shinde. His book on 1921 Hindu Genocide in Malabar, Beyond Rampage: West Asian Contacts of Malabar and Khilafat busted the myth that the leaders and promoters of Malabar Hindu genocide were poor, landless Muslims and the riots had all the characteristics of communal program. Marshalling out proofs and documents, he exposed that some of the Khilafat leaders were wealthy timber exporters who had ideological and business connections with Turkey and other Islamic nations. He authored Cultural Terrorism: Conflicts and Debates on Cultural Pasts, The Other as Hostile, On the Cusp of a Holocaust and several others.
Mourning the death of Harishankar, Shri J Nandakumar, National Convenor of Prajna Pravah, said: “I am extremely saddened and shocked to learn about the untimely demise of young and vibrant nationalist thinker and noted academician Dr B S Harishankar.”
Talking about his contribution, Shri Nandakumar said, “With the loss of Harishankar, we’ve lost an academician par excellence, a noted historian and a committed Swayamsevak. Moreover, it’s a personal loss for me. We first met at Sangh Shiksha Varg….. He was very studious and brilliant and he was noticed for the same. As an academician, he had very close connection with many noted historians and archaeologists. He has written extensively on the topics such as new archaeological discoveries, cultural Marxism, history, etc. His works and academic interventions exposed the Left-Missionary agenda behind many a fake archaeological and historical expeditions like Pattanam, Keezhadi, etc. His recent book Beyond Rampage offered an entirely new perspective on the Malabar Hindu Genocide. Even though he lived a very short life, he has left behind indelible footprints in the intellectual realm. He will be remembered for his original thinking and extraordinary contributions to Indian academia. Prajna Pravah pays tribute to Harishankar and expresses deep condolences to the bereaved family members. Praying for his sadgati.”
Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram Director Shri R Sanjayan also expressed shock at the sudden demise of Harishankar. He said it was “devastating”. “His contribution to the intellectual corpus of the organisation was immense. Immensely talented, his academic rigour was praiseworthy. His death has created a void,” he added.