Plans drawn up for Gandhi Heritage Portal

Gandhi

Based on the recommendations of the Gandhi Heritage Committee, plans for a Gandhi Heritage Portal to house all intellectual heritage of Mahatma Gandhi's legacy have been drawn up at the Gandhi Ashram.

The committee, headed by Gandhi's grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi, had recommended in November 2008 that all Gandhi heritage be preserved and categorised into physical and intellectual heritage.

The physical heritage sites, mainly the places Gandhi visited and have historical significance, are spread over more than 2,000 locations not only in India, but across the world, requiring diplomatic moves by the Indian government. On the other hand, the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad is believed to house the biggest collection of original intellectual heritage.

According to sources, the plans are on the verge of completion and will be sent to the Ministry of Culture for approval after a few changes and additions, if required. However, the process of forming what they called "one agency in the world that will house all the authentic data" has been completed.

As per the plan, all original intellectual heritage will be identified, collected, catalogued, scanned, fresh laser prints made of these, and the originals relegated to the archives and conserved. The laser prints will be stored in a library. As for the scanned versions, these will be digitised and stored with the proper technologies, and also put online.

"The decision has not been taken yet if the original manuscripts are to be put online," said a source, adding: "Only catalogues could be available online, and the original manuscripts accessible only after someone who wishes to look at them proves his or her credentials."

The intellectual heritage have been identified in circles or clusters. The core cluster will be made up of the 100-volume Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (presently being scanned, digitised and reprinted at Gujarat Vidyapith), the Gandhi Chronology by Chandu Dalal, which gives a time-wise document of Gandhi's life, and the conversion of this time-wise document into a location-wise document (meaning synchronising Gandhi's movements with the locations) which is now called The Gandhi Heritage Committee documents.

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