Preserving India's Legacy: National Archives Acquires Rafi Ahmad Kidwai Papers

National Archives acquires private papers of Rafi Ahmad Kidwai, including correspondences with Nehru and Patel. Kidwai, a prominent freedom fighter, held key ministerial positions in pre- and post-independence India, notably in communications and agriculture. His papers will enrich the NAI's collection of private papers, providing insights into his life and contributions.

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 09-05-2024 08:25 IST | Created: 09-05-2024 08:25 IST
Preserving India's Legacy: National Archives Acquires Rafi Ahmad Kidwai Papers
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The National Archives of India (NAI) has acquired the private paper collection of former Union minister Rafi Ahmad Kidwai, comprising his original correspondences with several eminent leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhai Patel, officials said.

These papers were handed over to Director General, NAI, by Faiz Ahmad Kidwai, additional secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, in the presence of Tazeen Kidwai, daughter of the late Hussain Kamil Kidwai, youngest brother Rafi Ahmad Kidwai and Sarah Manaal Kidwai, the Culture Ministry said in a statement.

The National Archives is the custodian of the non-current records of the government of India and holds them in trust for the use of administrators and researchers according to the provision of the Public Record Act 1993.

As a premier archival institution, the NAI plays a key role in guiding and shaping archival consciousness. Apart from the vast collection of public records, it has a rich and ever-growing collection of private papers of eminent Indians from all walks of life, who have made significant contributions to the country, it said.

The NAI has acquired the private paper collection of Rafi Ahmad Kidwai, comprising his original correspondences with other eminent leaders like Nehru, Patel, Syama Prasad Mookerjee and P D Tandon, it said.

Kidwai was a man of vivacity, brilliance and charm who is known for his ceaseless efforts towards independence of the country and for refuting communalism and superstitions of every type, the statement said.

Born on February 18, 1894, in Masauli, Uttar Pradesh, he hailed from a middle-class Zamindar family. His political journey began in 1920 with his involvement in the Khilafat Movement and the Non-Cooperation Movement, leading to imprisonment.

Kidwai served as the private secretary to Motilal Nehru, pre-independence Congress leader and Jawaharlal Nehru's father, and later held significant positions in the Congress Legislative Assembly and the United Provinces Congress Committee, it added.

His political acumen led him to become a minister in Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant's cabinet, where he managed revenue and jail portfolios.

Post-independence, he served as India's first minister for communications in Nehru's cabinet, launching initiatives like the ''own your telephone'' service and night air mail.

In 1952, he took charge of the food and agriculture portfolio, successfully tackling food rationing challenges with his administrative skills, the statement said.

Kidwai's dedication to liberal India and strengthening the nation remained unwavering throughout his political career.

His contributions were recognised with the creation of the Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research in 1956, the ministry said.

Kidwai's tenure as communication minister earned him a reputation for innovation and effectiveness, while his leadership in the food ministry was hailed as a triumph over adversity, earning him the moniker of a 'magician and a miracle man', it added.

He embodied action and dedication in his pursuit of Indian independence and later in his administrative roles, the statement said.

His ability to swiftly address crises and implement innovative solutions highlights his remarkable leadership qualities, it said.

His contributions to various sectors, from communications to agriculture, left a lasting impact on the nation's development and his legacy as a committed freedom fighter and a skilled administrator continues to inspire generations, it added.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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