Mahendra K Premi passed absent in the early morning of December 24, 2020, leaving at the rear of a wealthy legacy of demanding perform in empirical research and inclusive romantic relationship at Jawaharlal Nehru College. He taught and guided a big variety of learners at the Centre for the Examine of Regional Enhancement for above forty several years. In addition to creating significant contribution in analysing and deciphering demographic alterations in the country in the context of world-wide enhancement, he served several colleagues like me have a correct populace standpoint for building a framework for research in regional enhancement.

I experienced not arrive throughout the surname Premi in advance of I met him and usually questioned if a person experienced given him or his ancestors this surname for the loving and affectionate perspective to all all over them. No matter if it was Republic working day, New 12 months working day, Diwali, Dussehra or Eid, he was the man or woman going for walks in the corridors of the Centre distributing sweets. With his common Hindu qualifications, he showed awesome liberalism and at a marriage perform of a student of mine, held in opposition to all societal norms in a village in Haryana. After Prof Premi’s text of blessings, several of the Remaining-leaning learners addressed him as comrade Premi. I recall his becoming an essential member in a collection committee for promotion of a colleague, not a Marxist scholar but sympathetic to several of the positions like most of us at the Centre. A senior Leftist Professor of political economic climate created an anxious enquiry from me if the man or woman got the promotion and if Prof Premi’s existence created a difference. I was stunned as I experienced read Premi eloquently praising his perform in general public and non-public and could under no circumstances have imagined him but supporting his circumstance.

In my random recollections, I stumble on two incidents – just one in which he corrected all of us at the Centre and a further when I succeeded in transforming his place. A senior officer from the Census came to me looking for admission to the Centre and showed the letter of permission from his business office. We mentioned the make any difference in the college assembly looking at whether or not we were exceeding the quota for these kinds of admissions, educational document of these kinds of candidates and whether or not their admission in the center of the educational 12 months served in pursuing severe plan research. Premi till then was the only man or woman who experienced go through the letter of permission and mentioned “but the candidate has been permitted only to go to specified courses as a relaxed student to which there can be no complex objection”.

Prof Premi experienced a procedure of loaning textbooks after putting them in his sign up which I identified cumbersome. After a several months I realised that I experienced loaned his textbooks to learners and I did not keep in mind to whom. We mentioned the make any difference significantly for some time and ultimately he made the decision to give up the registration procedure.

His seminal contribution has been in regions of city enhancement, migration, socio-economic profile of the country. This has been recognised as transforming the contours of Indian demography. He will be remembered for rescuing the self-control from the slim confines of fertility, mortality and everyday living tables. He was the 1st to attract my notice to the reality that migrants in big metropolitan areas are socio-economically much better off than the non-migrants and we are not ready to concentration notice on the bad and susceptible migrants thanks the technique of facts era by the Census and NSS.

Specified that the demographic issues like delivery level, citizenship, marriage, etcetera, are coming to occupy the centre phase of political discourse, the country will miss out on scholars like Mahendra K Premi.


Amitabh Kundu is Distinguished Fellow at the Study and Information Method for Creating Nations

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