Records depict Gandhi’s Kerala connect

An exhibition of documents on Gandhi at the Archives Directorate at Nalanda in the Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday. C. Ratheesh kumar   | Photo Credit: C_RATHEESH KUMAR

A notification in the ‘The Cochin Government Gazette’ of January 30, 1948, under the label ‘Extraordinary’ directs that all public offices, courts, and educational institutions be closed for three days as a mark of respect to Mahatma Gandhi following his assassination. Another document from the taluk office at Ernakulam seeks vouchers for the expenditure incurred in public announcement of Gandhi’s death by means of ‘tom-tom’ drums.

These are among the rare documents on display at an exhibition of historical records at the Archives Directorate, Nalanda, to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and 70 years of his martyrdom. The six-day exhibition includes records from the Sabarmati Ashram, those related to the Vaikom Satyagraha, rare books from the Archives Department library, and documents in Gandhi’s hand.

One document names Malayalis who took part in the Dandi Yatra — Raghavan, Titus, Krishnan Nair, Sankaran and Tapan Nair from Tamil Nadu. There are reproductions of photos showing Gandhi with Chiang Kai-shek, one of Gandhi in Thiruvananthapuram in 1937, receiving Harijan Fund in Kozhikode in 1934, and one at Kanyakumari.

Photos show a Congress Working Committee meet at Wardha, founding of the Gujarat Vidyapith, shifting of Gandhi’s Ashram at Kochrab to Sabarmati following plague, and Gandhi speaking against untouchability at Kochrab. Publications related to Gandhi from the Archives’ rare books collection are also on display. These include a condolence on Kasturba Gandhi’s death by Malabar aided schoolteachers in a teachers’ mouthpiece called ‘Adhyapakan.’ Records from the National Archives including cartoons on Gandhi’s Salt Satyagraha in foreign publications such as The Baltimore Sun, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and The Morning Post.

1924 floods too

The Archives also records the 1924 floods such as relief operations by panchayats, Cochin flood relief committee, how the relief operations were carried out in phases, contribution of a day’s salary by the ‘Nayar brigade’ of the police totalling British ₹750 for the distress fund, and reduction of interest rate for farmers from 6.25% to 6% a year.

The Archives Department’s interventions in the recent floods have been detailed through a series of colourful prints.

Minister for Archives Kadannappally Ramachandran inaugurated the exhibition at a function presided over by K. Muraleedharan, MLA.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 2:55:57 AM |

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