Describe the contribution of V.S. Suthankar in reconstructing social history through the critical edition of Mahabharata.

The ’Critical Edition of the Mahabharata’ that takes into account the various versions of the Sanskrit epic compiled over centuries runs into 13,000 pages in 19 volumes. It was collated by scholars of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Pune between 1919 and 1966. This work, often referred to as the “Poona” edition of the Mahabharata, is used for current studies of the epic.

Vishnu Sitaram Sukthankar or V.S. Sukthankar was a famous Sanskritist. Under Sukthankar, a team prepared a critical edition of the popular epic, Mahabharata collecting the Sanskrit manuscripts of the text written in a variety of scripts. Ultimately, they selected the verses that were common to most of the versions and published these in several volumes.

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