Bihar archives to chronicle Subhash Chandra Bose's link with state
Bihar is going to chronicle Subhash Chandra Bose's connection with the state.
Patna: The British Raj had asked provincial governments in the country in the early 1930s not to allow publishing of a speech by revolutionary Subhash Chandra Bose at a conference in London during that time, according to documents of the period.
A colonial-era record available in this connection, at the Bihar State Archives (BSA) in Patna, contains an order letter issued from Shimla, the then summer capital of the Raj, to the then provincial Government of Bihar and Orissa, asking it not to let the speech be published.
The same record also contains news clipping of Bose having attended the conference in London and speaking there.
After searching through its voluminous collection to look for records in connection with Netaji, the state archives would soon be publishing a volume 'Subhash Chandra Bose in the records of the Bihar State Archives'.
"We went through our records in connection with Netaji and Bihar for the project and so far the research and collection work have been completed. We are working on the composition and the volume should be out by March next year," Director of Bihar State Archives Vijoy Kumar told PTI.
Bose visited Patna a few times and addressed gatherings at the historic Gandhi Maidan (then called Patna Lawn), in Danapur, near the cantonment area and in Patna City, the old counterpart of the new capital. He also had visited Jamshedpur, then part of the Bihar province.
Archivists at the BSA are trying to still trace links that Bose enjoyed with Patna or any other part of colonial Bihar that possibly are still buried in record books.
"Just before the Ramgarh Conference of the Congress in 1940, Netaji visited Patna and addressed a gathering at the Mangles' Tank in Patna City. Peasant leader Swami Sahajanand Saraswati also spoke there and was later arrested by the police," a BSA archivist, working on the project said.
Among other records are those of Bose's visit to industrial city Jamshedpur during a union strike there and him having developed a pain in his abdomen while being lodged in a jail in Nagpur.
"The record dating to 1933 talks of letters being sent to Bihar and Orissa government seeking transfer of Bose from Seonee Jail in Nagpur in the then central provinces to the General Hospital in Patna for conducting meals and radiography tests on him after he complained of severe pains in his stomach," the archivist said.
Kumar said the idea is to make Bose's connection with Bihar accessible to people and many of these records would bring fresh insights about Netaji as we know him.
"Some of the records do not have his direct link with Bihar but make a reference to Bose. We are publishing records that we have at our disposal, as the title suggests," he said.
Kumar said that other books are also in the pipeline, like one on "proscribed documents in Bihar" during the colonial government.
"Documents which were not allowed to be made public, we are working on a volume on that topic as well. Besides, we will publish our journal 'Abhilekh Bihar 2014'," he said.
The BSA has planned to meanwhile release seven new publications later this month, namely, 'Bihar Vibhuti - Part 3', 'Abhilekh Bihar 2013', 'Old Zemindari Records of Bihar' and 'Unrest Against British Rule' (both reprints of the old books authored by noted historian KK Dutta), among others.
Kumar also spoke of the problems faced by the BSA such as staff shortage which has slowed down work.
"We need a reprographist, technical assistant and a programmer to carry out our work with ease. So, far about 10 per cent of digitisation of the records have been carried out but lack of specialised staff has slowed down our work," he said.
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