Was file related to Gandhi’s assassination among documents destroyed by MHA?

The writer, a visiting professor at CSDS, a former UPSC member and Governance Now columnist, has sought details of files recently destroyed by the union home ministry from the ministry

purushottam-agarwal

Purushottam Agarwal | July 3, 2014



There have been reports in the media suggesting that a huge number of files in the ministry of home affairs have been destroyed, ostensibly in the interest of efficiency and space-management. According to the reports, these include the file containing records of the cabinet meeting which took place just before the news of Mahatma Gandhi's assassination was formally announced.

The union government usually follows a record retention schedule. Moreover, in the case of files containing documentation of the historically crucial period just after independence, it must be ensured that the documents must be treated as sacrosanct, and must be preserved as such, change of governments notwithstanding. Historians might differ in their interpretations of momentous events like the assassination of MK Gandhi (1948) or imposition of emergency (1975), but for any sane debate and contest of ideas, preservation of and access to official documents and records is a must.
Unfortunately, there is not much clarity in the case concerned whether digital copies were made of the important files to be disposed of, or whether these have been shifted to the National Archives or any similar institution. It is also not clear how a historian or any interested citizen can get access to these important documents.   

Such documents containing the raw material of history cannot be allowed to be obliterated.

Keeping this in mind, I have filed an application with the ministry of home affairs under the RTI act.

In the RTI, I have sought the following information:
 
1. As per the recent newspaper reports, is it true that a large number of files and documents pertaining to the ministry of home affairs have been destroyed in the last few weeks, i.e. after May 20,  2014?

2. Were these files and documents destroyed as per the extant record retention schedules of the government of India?

3. Have the important files and documents been identified and retained?

4.  Have important files of permanent nature been retained in digital form or any other form?

5.  Please inform where have the important files and documents of permanent nature been sent.

6.  Have these files and documents been sent to National Archives of India, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library and other libraries?

7.  In case information contained in these important files and documents are to be retrieved in future for study and research purposes, where should one go and find them?

8.  Please provide a copy of the order and file noting vide which the instruction for destroying records was issued to the officials of ministry of home affairs, government of India.

Comments

 

Other News

AAI plans development of Lucknow, Deoghar, Rajkot and Allahabad airports

The airports at Lucknow, Deoghar, Rajkot and Allahabad would be spruced up by Airports Authority of India to improve and develop infrastructure to meet growing traffic demands. The authority plans to construct a new integrated passenger terminal building at Chaudhary Charan Singh Internation

Housing for all: A realisable dream

The Indian constitution states that “the state shall strive to promote the welfare of the people, protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice, social, economic and political for all.” It is on these basic values that India continues to endeavour to provide its people bas

Why judicial reforms matter

Two path-breaking judgments by the Supreme Court on privacy and triple talaq were a reminder of how much we have begun to rely on the judiciary to make sense of a conflicted world. Seventy years after Independence, India’s judiciary has many accomplishments to its credit. A large judicial infrastruct

Sail supplies 80% steel for Sardar Sarovar project

Maharatna enterprise Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has said that it supplied 80 percent steel required for construction of the Sardar Sarovar Project unveiled by prime minister Narendra Modi.    SAIL supplied around 85,000 tonnes of steel for the entire Sardar

Why university and college teachers are unhappy across the country

College and university teachers all across the country seem too much worried about the policy shift with respect to their pay and regulations from centre to states. Therefore, they may be gearing up for an indefinite movement in the coming days, a situation that was built only during the previous regime of

Sardar Sarovar saga reaches closure, finally

After a long wait of almost half a century, filled with more twists and turns than the river Narmada’s, the Sardar Sarovar project is finally complete.   Prime minister Narendra Modi dedicated the multipurpose project to the nation on Sunday, which also happened to be h



Video

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter