January 2016 News

Jammu And Kashmir Archives Denied Record For Past 6 Decades

12 January 2016
India Today
Naseer Ganai

Srinagar: For the future historians of Jammu and Kashmir there is nothing in the archives as for six decades Jammu and Kashmir government is not providing important documents and communications to the Department of Archives, which is otherwise mandatory under law, a senior official of the department said. 'We have not got any document from judiciary, police and other departments since 1985. For past few years the secretariat is sending few files and that is all,' Muhammad Shafi Zahid, Director, Department of Archives and Archeology told Mail Today. Former Director, Archives and Archeology, Dr. Abdul Ahad, however, says since 1947 Jammu and Kashmir government has not taken the department seriously and no one provides it any document. 'I don't think any government department has regularly provided it records after 1947. There is nothing serious available in the Archives Department about happenings in Jammu and Kashmir since 1947. Nothing about tumultuous event of 1953 and I say it with confidence,' He, however, said, during Maharaja rule the department was viewed with much respect. 'You will find details about Dogra period in the archives even details about construction of roads and the money spent on the construction,' he said. The 3-archives one each at Jammu, Srinagar and Leh are housing nearly 20 lakh files of administrative and historical importance dating back to 1724. The holdings include Persian records, administrative reports, census reports, revenue settlement reports, council proceedings, council orders, various commission reports, gazetteers, gazettes, and revenue records of Maharaja period. The records are open to public and scholars upto 1960 except confidential and classified records. The officials say Jammu and Kashmir Police, judiciary, Jammu and Kashmir Assembly have not shared a single document with the archives department since 1985. 'We have even heard that Jammu and Kashmir Police have created some mechanism within the police department to preserve police archives. They don't share anything with us,' Zahid said. There is no significant record of the Assembly proceedings available with the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to share with the Archives Department. A senior official of the Assembly secretariat said, two volumes of Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly debates and a copy of the debates of Autonomy resolution, which was passed by the Assembly in 2000 for restoration of pre-1953 status to Jammu and Kashmir, are available with Assembly while the rest of the records about Assembly proceedings is either untraceable or available in bits and pieces.