Anger over plans to raze a part of iconic Indian library for flyby | India Information
New Delhi, India – A plan to demolish a part of a 130-year-old library to construct a flyover is extensively criticized in India.
Authorities within the state of Bihar in japanese India are planning to demolish the entrance part of Khuda Bakhsh’s japanese public library, situated within the coronary heart of the state capital, Patna.
The transfer sparked outrage amongst lecturers and conservationists, with dozens of distinguished metropolis intellectuals urging the state authorities to protect the heritage construction.
The Bihar authorities bridge constructing division desires to construct a $ 50 million, 2.2 km (1.3 mile) flyover to resolve site visitors jams within the state’s principal metropolis and has requested a certificates of no -objection to the library.
To construct the elevated street, the division says it must demolish the library’s Curzon Studying Room – in-built 1905 and named after the British Viceroy in India, Lord Curzon, who visited the establishment in 1903. and gave it funds to develop.
In a letter to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the Indian Nationwide Belief for Artwork and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) referred to as on the federal government to drop the proposed demolition, saying such a transfer can be a “monumental lack of heritage not just for Patna, however for the entire nation. world”.
On Tuesday, the Bihar Legislative Meeting Libraries Committee, chaired by left-wing lawmaker Sudama Prasad, referred to as a Patna civil society assembly to hunt public enter on the demolition mission.
On Saturday, Prasad and different lawmakers from his Indian Communist Celebration (Marxist-Leninist) visited the library. He referred to as the federal government’s proposal to demolish a part of the library “completely scandalous” and “an assault on our heritage”.
“On the one hand, the Nitish Kumar authorities talks about preserving the historical past and heritage of the state, however however, it plans to demolish one of the essential heritage libraries,” Prasad instructed Al Jazeera. .
“We’ll do every thing in our energy to cease this assault and save our heritage.”
Khuda Bakhsh Japanese Public Library Director Shayesta Bedar mentioned the establishment was “our collective heritage, our nationwide satisfaction, acknowledged by folks all around the world.”
“It’s our accountability, together with that of the federal government, to save lots of this heritage,” she instructed Al Jazeera.
Bedar mentioned the library wrote to the state authorities, demanding a change to the overflight plan and giving varied options for higher dealing with site visitors with out demolishing a historic constructing.
“The proposal will result in the demolition of a number of historic buildings,” she mentioned.
Patna District Justice of the Peace Chandrashekhar Singh mentioned there was no plan to demolish the principle two-story library constructing. He mentioned it was the Curzon Studying Room, which is near the library’s perimeter wall, that will stand in the way in which of the proposed mission.
“Solely 5 meters from the Curzon Studying Room might be demolished and the administration has introduced that it’s going to first construct a brand new studying room on the identical design within the library campus earlier than demolishing the previous one,” he mentioned. he instructed Al Jazeera.
Nonetheless, INTACH Patna supervisor JK Lall expressed shock and shock on the proposal.
“It is bizarre that the administration says it does not demolish the principle library constructing, however solely the entrance a part of the Curzon Studying Room. The Curzon Studying Room is a crucial a part of the Khuda Bakhsh Library, ”he instructed Al Jazeera.
Imtiyaz Ahmad, former library director and retired historical past professor on the College of Patna, expressed outrage over plans to demolish a part of Patna’s very first public library, visited by lecturers from the all over the world for over a century. .
“This library has World Heritage worth. It has the most important assortment of Islamic manuscripts within the nation in addition to different essential books and paperwork, ”Ahmad instructed Al Jazeera.
“We’re all shocked by this proposal. This library occurs to be the primary public library in Patna, presumably additionally in Bihar. How can the federal government consider destroying the patrimony of the state? “
‘Everlasting feast for the eyes’
Situated on the banks of the Ganges, the Japanese Public Library of Khuda Bakhsh, based on its web site, was opened to the general public in October 1891. It was based by Khuda Bakhsh Khan with 4,000 manuscripts, of which he has inherited practically 1,400 from his father, who was an avid collector of manuscript books.
Khuda Bakhsh Khan, philanthropist and avid bibliophile, was born in August 1842 within the Siwan district of the state. His ancestors had been within the service of the Mughal dynasty, for which they stored books and wrote empire registers.
Ahmad mentioned that the library constructing was as soon as the residence of Khuda Bakhsh, which he gave to the “folks of Patna” together with his private assortment of manuscripts, writings on paper, palm leaves, deerskin, material and varied supplies.
At the moment, the library has roughly 21,000 unique manuscripts and over 250,000 books printed in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, English and Hindi, along with a couple of in German, French, Punjabi, Japanese and Russian.
One in every of his manuscripts, Tarikh-e Khandan-e Timuriya, is talked about within the UNESCO Reminiscence of the World Register and three others – Diwan-e Hafiz, Kitab al-Tasreef and Kitab al-Hashaish – have been recognized as Vigyan Nidhi (Treasury of Information) by the Indian Ministry of Tradition.
The library was declared a Website of Nationwide Significance by the Indian authorities in 1969 by an Act of Parliament. Though being an autonomous establishment, the library is absolutely funded by the Ministry of Tradition.
A number of distinguished figures visited the library, together with the nation’s nice freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam and several other overseas heads of state.
“Books are artistic endeavors. The magnificent end and coloring of the ornament of the Quran and Shahnama is an everlasting feast for the eyes, ”Gandhi wrote after visiting the library in 1925.
“I venerate the reminiscence of the good founder who spared neither ache nor cash to current to India such a uncommon assortment.
Sheema Fatima, a researcher who has labored on the city geography of Patna, mentioned Khuda Bakhsh’s Japanese Public Library “has attracted consideration as a result of it’s an internationally famend library.” She additionally mentioned this was not the primary incident in Bihar the place the federal government deliberate to demolish a historic constructing.
“It has been the obsession of [Chief Minister] Nitish Kumar for 10 years. He shattered many historic buildings, ”she instructed Al Jazeera. “Town should take into consideration what it’s aiming for.”
Fatima mentioned even the federal authorities, led by the right-wing Bharatiya Janata (BJP) celebration, was “obsessive about creating its personal historical past.” “Reasonably than preserving the town’s historical past and heritage buildings, they’re destroying it,” she mentioned.
Lall of INTACH mentioned his group will take a case to courtroom if the federal government approves the demolition.
“Now we have approached all related state authorities concerning the matter and if the proposal just isn’t revoked we can have no alternative however to knock on the doorways of the tribunal.”