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Govt in dark about Gandhi's title

Sanjay Pandey, Lucknow, April 2, 2012, DHNS:

Was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi conferred the title of the Father of the Nation? Well. The government of India has no idea about it. A reply by the government in response to an RTI query by a Lucknow-based girl recently said that there were no ‘specific documents’ to prove if Mahatma Gandhi was conferred the title of the Father of the Nation.

Ten-year-old Aishwarya Parashar, a student of sixth standard, had sought a photocopy of the ‘order’ of the Government of India by which the title of ‘Father of the Nation' had been conferred on Mahatma Gandhi. Aishwarya had filed an application under the RTI act with the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in February last. Her query was forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs and from there to the National Archives.

In his reply, the assistant director of the National Archives Jayaprabha Ravindran said that it did not have any specific documents on the information sought.

“As per search among the public records in the National Archives of India, there are no specific documents on the information being sought by you”, the official said.

The official, however, said that the “National Archives of India has a large number of public records related to Mahatma Gandhi...as per the guidelines of the DOPT, the duty of the CPIO is only to make available the records for consultation and not undertake any research on behalf of the applicant”, the communique to Aishwarya said further.

The official also invited the the questioner to visit the National Archives to “undertake a detailed search among the public records and library material for desired information”.


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