NEW DELHI: The culture ministry is mulling over to develop a digital repository on ‘unsung heroes’ of Indian freedom struggle on the lines of popular online encyclopedia—Wikipedia.
The repository is an attempt to discover and document stories of people, events, and places linked to the freedom struggle. The initiative is part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM)-- commemoration and celebration of 75 years of India’s independence.
“We are aiming to create an authentic vast storehouse of information about unknown freedom fighters hence taking various measures to collect as many details as possible. The idea is to make this ‘unsung heroes’ page on AKAM portal an open-source like Wikipedia so that individuals can add or edit the information after authorisation. Before giving access to someone for editing or addition, we will check his credentials,” said an official of the ministry.
Earlier, the ministry asked district collectors in all states to send details of freedom fighters and also heritage sites or places related to freedom struggle, which have remained ‘unknown’ and found no mention in history books.
About 465 such short stories related to individuals, incidents, places, and organisations are available on Digital District Repository on AKAM website-- amritmahotsav.nic.in. Besides, names and details of more than 1,100 unsung heroes like soldiers of the Indian National Army (INA), who fought against the British forces, have already been uploaded.
The officials said that a mega exercise—outreach programme-- to source bona fide details is also planned for which the ministry is tying up with the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), universities and history experts.
“We are contacting history departments of universities across states. If one wants to send some details, he can get in touch with them, which in turn can forward that information with their stamp. If it comes with the stamp of the university, it would obviously be authentic,” said a senior official.
The ministry is hoping to have 50,000 names of unsung heroes of the freedom struggle with sufficient details on the portal within three months.
“People especially the succeeding generation should know about individuals who joined the movement and laid down their life. There were not just 100-150 persons or leaders—familiar faces—but lakhs of Indian citizens who joined the freedom struggle. This fact should be known to all. We will give grants to historians who will rope in two-three research associates to make compilations on lesser-known freedom fighters,” said the official.