US based writer and journalist Ved Mehta wrote in his book, “A Family Affair”: “In the summer of Janata rule, politicians and officials, were gossiping and tittering about a ten thousand word document that has been encased in steel and buried forty feet underground at the Red Fort…The document was a time capsule that has been prepared by Mrs. Gandhi’s Government …and contained an account of Indian history from Independence through August 15, 1972.”
Claude Arpi, the French-born author, journalist and historian has, elaborated this topic in 2013.
He wrote: On February 9, 2012, Madhu Purnima Kishwar, a writer and activist filed an RTI application asking some information about Indira Gandhi’s Time Capsule, from the Central Public Information Commissioner (CPIO) in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). She wanted to know:
The exact date and location at which a Time Capsule was buried by the former Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi during the Emergency;
Detailed contents of the Time Capsule;
The name and official status of the person who decided what information, objects were to be assigned to the Time Capsule;
The official justification offered for creating such a Time Capsule.
The PMO gave its usual answer: “As per records, no such information is available. This has the approval of the competent authority”.
Unsatisfied, Kishwar filed another RTI application, addressing to the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
The HRD Ministry replied: “Since the requested information does not fall within the jurisdiction of MHA, the application is, therefore, being transferred to the PMO and the Ministry of Science and Technology.”
The Ministry of Science and Technology said, they do not have the information.
After so many denials, Madhu Kishwar filed an Appeal in April 2012. The First Appellant Authority dismissed her Appeal by saying : “An Information seeker under the Act can only seek information that is held in the records available with the public authority.”
She filed the next Appeal in August 2012 with the Central Vigilance Commissioner. On January 2013, she was summoned for a hearing of the case by the CIC. But there was no headway…because the Government “Knew nothing!”
On February 26, the Central Information Commissioner ultimately wrote: “…It is indeed very strange that there should be no information about this in the PMO or elsewhere in the government. During those days, the newspapers had very widely publicised this fact. It had been reported that the Time Capsule had been conceptualised by the then PMO and it had been buried in the Red Fort. If any of this report is right, then not only the PMO but also the Archaeological Survey of India should have some information about this matter.”
Madhu Kishwar later wrote on her blog: “It is bizarre that a Time Capsule buried by the Prime Minister’s Office at a premier national monument like Red Fort protected by the Archaeological Survey of India should vanish without leaving any trace whatsoever.”
It’s All About ‘Creating’ History
The problem with our Historians and the Journalists, who also are the chronicler of current History, is that they were always complacent, most adhered to their profession for higher and bigger material comforts and patronisation, their place in the hierarchy— for which, to side with the Government is the easiest thing.
They are so much informed about Hitler and Nazi era, various despotic rulers, imperialism of every kind, but surprisingly not much information is available on Indian Emergency!
As it seems, 21 months of India’s darkest experience was simply obliterated from Indian concern and of course, from Indian History.
The Historians who always create hullaballoo on History and the Curriculum of Indian History, beyond the continuing outlook , never ever questioned, why the real story of Indian Emergency, never included in Indian School, College or University syllabus!
No newspaper, no public body, no political party, nor the social network remembers the date… as it never happened!
Systematically, documents and files related to Emergency have been destroyed. No one ever asked this serious question, why even the declaration of Internal Emergency related communication by India Government is not available for research, in the National Achieve!
This is not just National Negligence, this is National Crime?
On June 25, 1975, the President of India issued this “Proclamation of Emergency”, thereby suspending democracy and imposing severe restrictions on free speech, dissent and political activities across the country.
President’s proclamation was this: “In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 352 of the Constitution, I, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, President of India, by this Proclamation declare that a grave emergency exists whereby the security of India is threatened by internal disturbance.“
Many young Indians are not even aware of this dark period in Indian history!
Even it’s also not known to us Indians , except a very few people who have seen the files in the past, that, in his declaration, President F.A. Ahmed, just reproduced word for word a draft sent to him by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi!
The only difference between his letter and hers was the bracket inserted for “clause (1)”!
Senior journalist Kuldip Nayar, who was himself Jailed during Emergency, and later wrote extensively on the matter, got virtually no help from Indian National Archive. He was sure, the related documents would definitely help us to understand the happening, and help the nation to know the real facts.
But, he was told that the paperwork had all been burnt!
The Time Capsule
Now, what the Time Capsule, buried by the Congress Government led by Indira Gandhi, forty feet under Delhi’s ground was all about?
It was about the glorious history of Nehru-Gandhi family in liberating India and leading it thereafter…and that’s all!
Frankly speaking…there were speculations that not just one, several Times Capsules were buried by Congress Government, since 1972.
One rare news report about one such Capsule was discovered by Arpi, dated May 27, 1972 : “Prime Ministry Indira Gandhi today lowered into the earth a time capsule to last 1000 years and preserves the memory of her father Jawaharlal Nehru who as Prime Minister guided India’s destiny for 17 years. …”
In 1977, When Janata Dal, under Morarji Desai as the Prime Minister, took control, the Government was reportedly able to unearth one such Capsule.
Member of Parliament Yagya Datta Sharma, who later became the Governor of Odisha, told on 20 December 1977 that the ‘encapsulated’ history would be submitted to the Parliament.
Things took a different turn over the next moths and thereafter
Morarji Desai was forced to resign on July 28, 1979, after Charan Singh, joined hands with Congress and formed Government.
During his short tenure Desai tried to clip wings of RAW, because he suspected that it was still working for Mrs Gandhi.
So, the real content of Time Capsule never came to the light .A very few who knew about it…are no more to tell people, after four decades, And If Janata Dal Government had even unearthed one of them, its contents must have been destroyed by successive Congress Governments.
That’s why , in 2013, Madhu Kishwar’s query remained ultimately and permanently unanswered.
Years after year, almost every Government programme in India was named after the members of the Nehru-Gandhi family.
Union Minister of Urban Development, Urban Poverty Alleviation and Parliamentary Affairs, Venkaiah Naidu has called it, “glorification of only one family.”
He has informed : “Congress launched 650 schemes in the name of three personalities — Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi — giving an impression that no other leader other than one family did any good for the country.”
Now, NDA’s first Budget has started acknowledging other political leaders, by naming schemes outside the Gandhi-Nehru family.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech has announced Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission for urbanising rural areas and the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana to expand power supply in rural areas.
Government programmes are now named after Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Jaiprakash Narayan,Madan Mohan Malviya and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, and others.
There is speculation that the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), whose term ended on 31 March this year, will be relaunched with changes and renamed.
The Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme has given way to the Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana while the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Scheme has been replaced by the Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana.
The Government is reportedly planning to rename and re-package other flagship programmes of the UPA too.
Only One Family!
During the last ten years of UPA Government, 11 Union Government Schemes were named after the Nehru-Gandhi family, mostly after Rajiv Gandhi.
During that period, Congress-ruled State Governments also had launched 52 such Schemes.
Of the 58 Union Government Schemes, 17 worth Rs2 lakh crore are named after members of the Nehru-Gandhi family.
As many as 10 schemes are named after Rajiv Gandhi. Only one scheme is named after Mahatma Gandhi(MNREGA). Even Babasaheb Ambedkar or Sardar Patel were nowhere in the list.
UPA Government’s flagship rural electrification programme worth Rs28,000 crore was named after Rajiv Gandhi. The drinking water mission with a budgetary outlay of Rs21,000 crore was also named after Rajiv Gandhi. The housing programme for rural population and the old age pension scheme are named after, Indira Gandhi.
Among Union Government Programmes with huge outlay of public funds are the Jawaharlal Nehru Rozgar Yojana and Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission.
The Government spend Rs 62,000 crore over seven years on Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission.
According to information by the Ministry of Planning in response to an RTI query, by Hisar-based RTI activist Ramesh Verma,in 2012: 27 out of 58 institutions and schemes being run by the Central Government are named after former Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
As many as 16 of these were named after Rajiv while 8 have been named after Indira and 3 after Nehru,
And only 2 schemes have been named after Mahatma Gandhi — Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojana and UPA’s flagship Programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA).
There are 3 institutions or Schemes named after Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, 1 Oraganisation after Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel,1after Atal Bihari Vajpayee ,and one Oraganization after Jagjivan Ram.
One scheme each was named after Rani Lakshmibai, Raja Rammohan Roy, named many years back.
There are four schemes and institutions named after B,R,Ambedkar and were launched in 1992 when BSP under Kanshi Ram and Mayawati’s emerged as a major power with substantial Dalit vote bank.
Senior journalist A. Surya Prakash,who has written a lot on the issue and petitioned to Election Commission, on several occasions, wrote in 2009:“ In a planned and systematic effort to gain unfair advantage over other political parties, the Congress Party has named all major government programmes, projects and institutions in the country after three members of the Nehru-Gandhi family – Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.”
The list of 450 government programmes, schemes, institutions etc named after these three members of the Nehru-Gandhi family broadly fall into the following categories: Central government programmes and projects (12), State Government Programmes (52), Universities and Educational Institutions (98), Ports and Airports (6), Awards, Scholarships and Fellowships (66), Sports Tournaments, Trophies and Stadia ( 47), National Parks and Sanctuaries (15), Hospitals and Medical Institutions (39), National Scientific and Research Institutions, Chairs and festivals (37), Peaks and Key geographical Markers (4); Roads, Buildings and Places (74).
He has provided the entire list. Which is really Mind Boggling!
However Prakash has explained his stand on the matter: “See, I am not against the Nehru-Gandhis, but the government has the responsibility of honouring other heroes too”.
For want of space, I’m not producing the list here.
But one should ask a question to those Historians and intellectuals, who almost became hysterical once the NDA came to power.
The question is. When the people of this country will learn the true History and the truth about, who liberated India?
– Deep Basu
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