Saturday, June 5, 2010

Gandhi’s hand-written notes secured in UK

London: Hand-written notes by Mahatma Gandhi during the protracted negotiations with Lord Mountbatten before the Partition of India are among priceless documents of ‘immense historical importance’ secured by a British heritage fund.

The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) has contributed 2 million pounds to secure the Broadlands Archives that contain documents chronicling major political events which shaped Britain at the end of the 19th century.
The archives include notes and documents of Lord
Mountbatten, who, as the last
viceroy and the first governorgeneral of independent India, played a key role in the negotiations that saw British withdrawal from India.
The documents include a handwritten note from Mahatma Gandhi to Mountbatten where he writes about his vow of silence. The archives contain 4,500 boxes of official papers and personal correspondence from major figures in the Victorian era.The NHMF spokeswoman said: “These notes, pencilled on the back of used envelopes, chart Gandhi’s shift from fervent opposition to the partition of the country, to reluctant acquiescence.”
The archives will now be bought by the University of Southampton which, with the NHMF grant of 1,993,760 pounds reached its fund-raising target of 2.85 million pounds. The archives will be based at the university.
Professor Chris Woolgar, head of special collections at the University of Southampton, added: “We’re delighted to receive this grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and we thank all those who have supported our campaign to acquire these precious Archives.”
He added: “It is impossible to underestimate the archives’ historical and national impact, in particular, without them we would find it difficult to understand fully the foundations of the independent states of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.” PTI

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