Who granted us freedom and what are the related documents? Did Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru or Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel sign any papers? Is there any pact between Indian and Pakistan that documents the Independence and Partition of India? How was the power or sovereignty transferred from the British Queen to India?
One would think that the government would have sound answers to these pertinent queries and one would be resoundingly wrong. In a shocking response to an RTI query by activist Madan Lal Narula, a resident of Ferozepur Punjab, the government’s reply was: No clue. “There are no such documents are available with their office pertaining to partition of India on 14th and 15th of August 1947.”
Earlier this year, Syed Farid Ahmed, Assistant Director at National Archives of India (NAI), requested Ministry of External Affairs, Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Home Affairs to provide the details of documents related to the Independence and partition. Further, in a letter to Narula, Ahmed said, “A circular has been issued by the department, requesting all the ministries and departments to assess the quantum of 25 years old records and their subsequent transfer to national archives.”
Ahmed issued a circular based on Central Information Commission (CIC) directions to the PMO, MEA and Ministry of Culture to collect all authentic documents from different sources and supply to the national archives.
Following the direction, the government has argued that the only document related to Independence and partition that they could think of was the ‘Indian Independence Act, 1947’ , which was passed by the British Parliament regarding transfer of power.
The order also stated that the Indian people achieved Independence after constant struggle in different forms and the historical landmark developments are recorded in certain documents, the availability of which is not authentically known.
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