Social Scientist. v 2, no. 18-19 (Jan-Feb 1974) p. 36.

Graphics file for this page
( ?K h i , i s i


Project Time Capsule and the Indian Council of Historical Research

V K Ramachandran

ON June 22, 1973, at a joint session of the Research Projects ComrnUte^ the Translations Committee and the Publications Coi^rinttee of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), a motion "to consider th^ proposal that the ICHR prepare a 10,000-wor^l account of the history Of India during the last 25 years for being placed in th<5 time ca^ule ^y August 15, 1973"1 was swiftly approved. The job^of getting the jxia^eriaj ready for India since 1947 was given to S Krishnaswamy, Professor of History at Madras Christian College. 1

Krishnaswamy's text went through various stages: a paraphrase from the Encyclopaedia Britannica Volume XIII, 1971^ a flourish from tl^e Publications Division's handout, a precis to St Anthony's C^ege^ Oxford,2 a rough draft submitted to the Indian' Council of Historical Research and a final polish from the Ministry of Education and Social Welfare. J> \ ^ The time capsule was embedded in the earth on Indqpe^ndenc^Dav 1973 by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi outside the main entrance (rfthe Red Fort. It was after this ceremony that Krishnaswamy forwarded the text of the scroll in the time capsule to Badrinath, Cotnttli^^ioner for Archives and Historical Research, Tamil Nadu, asking for his continents' ' Fri an address to the stiidfents of the Pr^side^py \ ppUege^ l^aetra^ Badrinath disclosed the nature and contents of India since 1947. His comments on the time capsule initiated a remarkably well-publicized ddbaAft in all sections of the Indian press. Badrinath said:

The journey from a-history to anti-history is sj|iort. Shorter stil^ls the journey to fancy. The shortest, however, is the journey to cc^ctivp ? lie^... ^ ,

.^Appyoved'by the Indian fcou^cil bf Histc^ai Research whM ts put in the capsule is, on most points, factually uritrtic./»lf 'isr' s&id, for example, that in 25 years after independence, ^jclupma^onl'^fttie threat of famine has been accomplished^' ?I^ that tri^.4 i^^^dje ou,t that agrarian revolution is complete by introducing land rcfor®. Every

Back to Social Scientist | Back to the DSAL Page