If ever there was someone born to be at university it would be Prof. P. C. Mathur. He was an ideal example of a scholar employed at a university. He was the only person I knew who was ready 24x7 to discuss academic issues.
He had another quality of turning non-serious discussion on inconsequential events into a hot topic of academic relevance. He used to keep track of academic activities of his dear and not-so-dear friends.
He would never miss any academic event that the department has organized and was omnipresent in every academic activity on the campus. His presence made academic events memorable. His unconventional interjections in seminars always amused and enriched participants at the same time.
His academic interests were not limited to political science only. His wide range of reading surprised many. He was a voracious reader and would spend generously on purchasing books and journals. He was quite passionate about the question of social justice. He encouraged and guided students, especially the downtrodden and the minority.
He was a lively person and his passion for academic activities was remarkable. He was also fearless in putting his views across to the academic community, however critical they may be. He had to suffer in his career due to his frank and iconoclastic nature but he never yielded to peer pressure.
His thirst for knowledge was insatiable and eagerness to share information and analysis with others was astonishing. His uncanny observation of finding academic worth from a routine gossip session was unique. His presence in the university gave inspiration to younger generations and made colleagues vulnerable.
For about fifteen years until his untimely death last year, my day would start with chatting on the telephone with him. He helped me understand the complex world of academic politics. He was a fruitful adviser to me in helping me organise international conferences. Such persons of academia as Prof. P. C. Mathur are rare; I like many others who were fortunate to have witnessed his academic activities, loved and interacted with him, and learnt a lot from him. I am personally indebted to him for my academic growth.
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