A.L. Srivastava
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A.L. Srivastava

Ashirbadi Lal Srivastava, more commonly known as A.L. Srivastava, born 16 September 1899, in Andhana, Uttar Pradesh, died 12 July 1973, in District Agra, was an Indian historian specialising in medieval, early modern and modern history of India, author of fifteen monographical works, ten of which are research monographs.

Life and work

Srivastava studied history in Lucknow where he made his Ph.D. (Doctor of philosophy) in 1932, and in Agra and Lucknow where he achieved D. litt. (Doctor of Letters, 1938/1945) with works concerning the three first Nawabs of Oudh (Awadh) in the 18th century (see article Nawabs of Oudh). Besides English and his mother tongue Hindi, he mastered Persian, the language at court and of diplomats, and Urdu as well and owned a working knowledge of Sanskrit, Marathi, Rajasthani and Punjabi.[1] For Arabic sources he asked the advice of Muslim Maulwis.[2]

In 1917, he was married to Phool Kumari (1904-1973); the couple had three sons and three daughters.[2]

1927 he passed M.A. and got a job at Government College, Udaipur. 1932 he was awarded Ph.D. from University of Lucknow (first Ph.D. degree holder in the history of this faculty).[2] In 1934 he became head of Dungar College, Bikaner, in 1938 he was promoted to D. Litt. by the University of Agra.

In 1943, Srivastava was appointed head of the history department at D.A.V. College, Lahore. In 1946, he was given additional charge of the professor and head of history department, Panjab University, Lahore.[3] In August, 1947, he was appointed professor and head, history and political science department, Agra College, Agra and retired from this Institution on 30 June 1962.[4]

Srivastava published in English as well as in Hindi. As his Guru in history he named Prof. K. R. Qanungo, while recognizing the Bengali historian Jadunath Sarkar (1870-1959) as "greatest authority on the history of India".[5]

He died in his 74th year from stomach cancer.[2]

Srivastava is a recipient of Sir Jadunath Sarkar Gold Medal of the Asiatic Society, Calcutta (1953) for his research work on medieval Indian history. He was a contributor to the Encyclopædia Britannica and to the Bengali and the Marathi Encyclopaedias of Calcutta and Poona (see list above) and founder resp. chief editor of two research journals, Agra College Journal of History and Uttara Bharati Journal of Research. As academic teacher he supervised about 30 students for their Ph.D. and D.Litt. degrees.[2]

His work on Akbar has been praised as the standard biography by critics.[6]

Partial list of works

  • The First Two Nawabs of Awadh, Saadat Khan (1680-1739) and Safdar Jung (1708-1754)
  • Shuja-ud-Daulah - Vol. I (1754-1765)
  • Shuja-ud-Daulah - Vol. II (1765-1775)
  • Sher Shah Suri and His Successors (1539-1545 AD)
  • The Mughal Empire, 1526-1803 A.D by A. L Srivastava( Book )
  • Akbar the Great : [in three volumes] by A. L Srivastava( Book )
  • A Short History of Akbar the Great (1542-1605 AD)
  • Studies in Indian History (Collection of Research Papers)
  • History and Culture of Agra (Souvenir), 1956
  • History of the Indian Subcontinent, in Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, 1974, pages 334-430. Publisher-Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., Helen Hemingway Benton, U.S.A.
  • Life in Sanchi sculpture by A. L Srivastava( Book )
  • Nandy?varta, an auspicious symbol in Indian art by A. L Srivastava( Book )
  • ?ilpa-?r?, studies in Indian art and culture by A. L Srivastava( Book )
  • Um?-Mahe?vara : an iconographic study of the divine couple by A. L Srivastava( Book )
  • On Siva and Uma (Hindu deities)
  • Bh?rat?ya kal?-prat?ka by A. L Srivastava( Book )
  • Origin and development of symbols in Indic art; a study
  • Pro. Kr?sh?adatta B?japey? : smr?ti vi?eshka( Book )
  • Commemoration volume on the life and work of K.D. Bajpai, 1918-1992, Indologist, and on the civilization of India
  • ?ilpa-sahasradala : directory of unique, rare, and uncommon Brahmanical sculptures by N. P Joshi( Book )
  • Indian art icons : revealing some glaring glimpses by A. L Srivastava( Book )
  • Bh?rat?ya sa?skr?ti aura ?ilpa by A. L Srivastava( Book )
  • Study of depiction and influence of Hindu culture and mythology in Indian sculpture
  • Indian iconography : musing in some unique and unusual sculptures by A. L Srivastava( Book )[7]
  • Sv?stika : Bh?rat?ya j?vana k? eka apratima prat?ka by A. L Srivastava( Book )
  • Swastikas as depicted in Indic art and culture; a study
  • Savatsa gau, athav?, Savatsa dhenu by A. L Srivastava( Book )
  • ?r? Haj?r?mala B?nhiy? abhinandana-grantha( Book )
  • Commemorative volume published on the occasion of the 71st birth anniversary of Haj?r?mala B?nhiy?, b. 1924, social worker and educationist from Rajasthan; reminiscences by his friends and associates on his life and work; includes articles by B?n?thiy?
  • The Aligarh movement; its origin and development, 1858-1906 by Ema. Esa Jaina( Book )
  • Study on the movement of Indian Muslim regeneration established at Aligarh, India
  • Pañc?la k? m?rti-?ilpa : eka ?odhaparaka vivecana by A. L Srivastava( Book )
  • Administration of justce [sic] in seventeenth century India; a study of salient concepts of Mughal justice by B. S Jain( Book )
  • Major contributions to Volume 7: The Mughul Empire [1526-1707] in The History and Culture of the Indian People
  • Medieval Indian culture
  • The history of India, 1000 A.D.-1707 A.D
  • The Sultanate of Delhi, including the Arab invasion of Sindh, 711-1526 A.D
  • Bh?ratavarsha k? r?janaitika tath? sskr?tika itih?sa.
  • Modern India, Part I (I49S-1S58), 1969.

Books in Hindi

  • Awadh Ke Pratham Do Nawab
  • Shuja-ud-daulah, Vol. I (in press)
  • Dilli Sultanat
  • Mughal Kalin Bharat
  • Madhya Kalin Bhartiya Sanskriti
  • Bharat Ka Itihas
  • Akbar Mahan, Vol. I
  • Akbar Mahan, Vol. If


  1. ^ First two Nawabs, Preface to the second edition, p.ix
  2. ^ a b c d e "Srivastava Historian".
  3. ^ Indian National Congress (1948). To the Gates of Liberty: Congress Commemoration Volume. G. C. Sondhi. p. 391.
  4. ^ Srivastava, Ashirbadi Lal (1964). The Sultanate of Delhi (711-1526 A.D.). Shiva Lal Agarwala.
  5. ^ First two nawabs, p.xi
  6. ^ "Vincent A. Smith, Akbar the Great Mogul, 1542-1605, 2nd ed. (1919), is still the standard biography. Ashirbadi Lal Srivastava, Akbar the Great (1962-67), is a reliable account. - Kenneth A. Ballhatchet." In: Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago : Encyclopædia Britannica 2010, s.v. "Akbar"
  7. ^ Written by A. L. Srivastava (1936-....), see IdRef 156420716

External links

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