Mr Pandian (57) passed away at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, where he was rushed following a cardiac arrest, his family here said.
He is survived by his wife S Anandhi, an Associate Professor with the Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS) here, and a daughter.
Mr Pandian was with MIDS as an Associate Professor between 1989 and 2001 and later joined JNU as a Professor in 2009. He had also taught briefly as an Adjunct Faculty at the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ) in Chennai.
Author of the famous work on late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M G Ramachandran - named 'The Image Trap: M G Ramachandran in Films and Politics', he had also edited numerous academic articles.
Mr Pandian was well known among the academic circle specialising in the study of the Dravidian Movement of Tamil Nadu and other social discourses, besides subaltern studies.
Professor Vijaya Ramaswamy, who worked with Pandian in JNU, told PTI from Delhi: "It was shocking. He was a brillaint academician... It is certainly a big loss to the academic community."
Tamil film historian S Theodore Baskaran said, "Pandian was a pioneer in subaltern studies. He opened new avenues of study in India on agrarian economy."