Mubarak Mandi Archive

No one can foresee future but definitely have a glimpse of past through audio/visual or written documentation. The present age may be digital but importance of written text can never be undermined. One feels proud to acknowledge the wisdom of our Maharajas who at that time realised the importance of documentation and filing. Once a Royal Record Office during Maharaja Ranbir Singh era got new name Central Record Office with even a Director during Maharaja Hari Singh era to present Archives. More than fourteen lakh files are treasure of history living in two repositories of Jammu and Kashmir with some documents dated back 1724 AD. Old City maps, revenue records, manuscripts, what not, it’s beyond one’s imagination what’s in these cloth gatharis right now. Original Amritsar Treaty and Historical Instrument of Accession are very much part of these repositories and were thoroughly read and understood before Abrogation of Article 370 by Delhi Government. Any history student can get multiple doctorate thesis from this treasure of history and a visit to the repository just proves it with numerous students cherishing and living those moments sitting and reading the monuments. Rare Ramzaan and Sharda script are part of this immense literary treasure. In total 12000 bags are somehow trying to cope up with destruction of time. With the passage of time this department has lost importance and subsequent attention it should get. No more technical directors are there, posts lying vacant for years and it’s remarkable that these bags have survived the onslaught of dust, moisture and weather over such a period of time, credit to the dedicated staff. It’s fact that Department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums is just surviving, office surrounded by Mubarak Mandi malba, factually its own front is full of dumped iron furniture, bags lying on floors instead of racks, space constrain and inter departmental issues are definitely taking its toll. The documents which have survived for centuries can vanish permanently if not properly taken care of. Time is running short, administration has to look for way outs to preserve all this.