Citizenship Act impact: Priests of Haridwar defying odds to preserve ancestral data

According to the priests, in the wake of ongoing protests regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act these records are of great legal importance to the people.

Published: 06th January 2020 10:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th January 2020 10:44 AM   |  A+A-

Data

For representational purposes

Express News Service

DEHRADUN: Priests in Haridwar have been keeping a record of the ancestral history of families from across the state of Uttarakhand, as well as other parts of the country. One can find over one lakh books dating back to 250-300 years which have been recording this data. With more than 2,500 priests working to preserve this mammoth handwritten data, they include information such as the chronological trail of the family along with astrological data of every individual.

Pandit Pannalal Kumbhkaran (52), a fifth generation priest whose family was tasked with keeping a record of families in Dehradun says, “I still get two visitors every day on an average. We have family records of over 150 years. With time though, this tradition has started fading away.”

“Our elders used banana peel juice and bamboo or indigo pen to write. Now, we use morena pens and ink which should last longer,” he added.

The records have a catalogue which is known as ‘Barahkhadi’ which have has names and other details along with the page number of the manuscript through which people can surf their family history.

Kartikey Haru Gupta, a doctorate in law said, “These records have stood the test of time and with proper investigation and evidence, these can be presented as a genuine record in court.”

According to the priests, in the wake of ongoing protests regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act these records are of great legal importance to the people.

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