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Gandhi’s grandson seeks details of Bapu’s visit

SHIMLA: Retracing places connected with Mahatma Gandhi’s visit to Himachal Pradesh, the State’s archive wing has found that the house of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya here where the Father of the Nation is said to have stayed in 1921 was gutted in a fire.

In response to a recent letter of Gopal Krishna Gandhi, West Bengal Governor and grandson of the Father of the Nation, seeking details of places related to Gandhi’s visit to the hill state, the archive wing of Himachal Directorate of Language and Culture conducted a survey.

In regard to the query regarding Gandhi’s stay at the house of Malviya in 1921, the survey team found that the said house was known as “Curton Grove” and was located behind the State Assembly, sources in the archive wing said. The sources said that though there is no clear cut document of the house, it found that the old building was gutted in a fire and a new building has come at the same venue and its owner is one Deepak Sood.

Stay in Shimla

About Gandhi’s stay at house of freedom fighter Lala Mohan Lal in 1931, the team found that the house was earlier in the name of Rai Bahadur Mohan Lal and presently registered in the name of Furgrove Bhawan, Jhakhu. The present house owner is Mohinder Lal, a resident of Panchsheel Park, New Delhi. About residence of Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur named “Manor Villa” in Summer Hill area where Gandhi is said to have stayed in 1930, 1940 and 1945, they said there is no documentary proof and presently this house is registered in the name of All India Institute of Medical Sciences in the tax record of municipal corporation.

The sources said that a reply has been sent to the West Bengal Governor on May 8 last giving the above mentioned information.

Gopal Krishna Gandhi has now sent another letter seeking details about the venue of a meeting addressed by Gandhi somewhere in between Dharampur and Solan in 1921, the sources said. The State archive team is busy getting official confirmation of this, they said. Though there is mention of the said meeting of Gandhi in books, the exact venue is not mentioned.

Tracing venue

Moreover a lot of geographical changes have taken place since the pre-independence days, they said, adding efforts are on to trace the venue. The sources said that since the state archive wing was set up in 1986 very little papers relating to earlier events were available with it. In view of this, the wing relies on historians and other experts to get details of historical events and places. - PTI

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