Shimla: Even as the Indian National Congress completed 125 years a few days ago, Rothney Castle here, where A.O. Hume lived and conceived the idea of founding the party, remains a virtually forgotten address.

The palatial house is now known as Shishey-wali-Kothi for the profuse use of window glass. It stands above the Holly Lodge, residence of Union Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh, on the Jakko peak.

The Himachal Pradesh Congress celebrated the 125th foundation day at a State-level function on December 28 at Una. In Shimla, the function was held at State party headquarters ‘Rajiv Bhawan’ but nobody visited the house of the founder.

“We had in the past tried to convert the house into a Congress museum, but the idea did not fructify,” PCC president Kaul Singh Thakur told PTI on Wednesday, while admitting that Congressmen rarely visited the place.

Idea of Congress

Hume, who was Revenue, Agriculture and Commerce Secretary during the British rule, bought the house and shifted here from Allahabad in 1881. It was while living here that he conceived the idea of founding the Congress, which came into being on December 28, 1885.

The house, now owned by Delhi businessman Ravi Mohan, was declared a heritage building in 2007. — PTI

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