After Pune University allegedly backed out, the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh has decided to host the 79th Indian History Congress (IHC) here beginning February 26, an IHC official said Monday. The 79th session was earlier supposed to be held at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) from December 28.
"However, it was cancelled by the local hosts apparently due to financial reasons," said professor Mahalakshmi Ramakrishnan, secretary, IHC. She was speaking at a joint press conference with Madhya Pradesh Public Relations Minister PC Sharma.
"As an organisation, this cancellation was unprecedented in the history as the only time we had not held the Congress session was in times of national need like 'Quit India' movement in 1942 and the wars in 1962 and 1971," Ramakrishnan said. "In the moment of crisis, the Madhya Pradesh government has come forward to support the IHC. Bhopal's Barkatullah University will be hosting it at such short notice," she said.
Ramakrishnan, however, evaded reply when asked if there was any political reason behind the Pune University's refusal to host the IHC. The SPPU had only said then that the session had been "postponed until further notice". The varsity had drawn flak over the decision.
Over 1,000 delegates including prominent historians are expected to participate in the IHC in Bhopal, Ramakrishnan said. After 2011, this is only the second time the IHC would be held in Madhya Pradesh, she added.
(With inputs from agencies.)