Indo-Russian Relations 1917-1947: Checklist of Documents (An Old and Rare Book, Volume-1)

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Item Code: HAN577
Author: Compiled And Edited By Purabi Roy, Sobhanlal Datta Gupta, Hari Vasudevan
Language: English
Edition: 1997
Pages: 92
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.5x7 INCH
Weight 336 gm
Book Description

In pursuance of a cultural agreement signed between the Institute of Oriental Studies, Moscow and The Asiatic Society, Calcutta under the auspices of the Government of Russian Federation and the Government of India, the Asiatic Society and the Institute of Oriental Studies, Moscow have jointly undertaken a project of compilation and publication of documents from the Russian archives on Indo-Russian relations beginning from the earliest times till 1947. The entire project has been divided into four phases, namely, (1) from the earliest times till the end of the eighteenth century: (II) nineteenth century: (iii) twentieth century till 1917: (iv) from the Russian Revolution of 1917 to 1947. The work of the four phases has accordingly been assigned to scholars representing the Russian and the Indian side.
It is understandable that the period 1917-1947 constitutes a very crucial phase in this project, since 1917 was the year of the October Revolution which had a lasting Impact on the struggle of the Indian people against British imperialism and 1947 was the year of India's independence, marking the end of British rule in India. Considering the special importance of this phase, particularly for the reason that the Russian archives were not accessible to researchers outside the USSR In the Soviet era, the Asiatic Society sent a team of three Indian scholars to Moscow in 1995 to collect archival materials, following the opening up of the Russian archives on a limited scale after August, 1991. The team comprised Dr. Purabi Roy (Department of International Relations, Jadavpur University. Calcutta and currently attached to Asiatic Society). Dr. Sobhanlal Datta Gupta (Department of Political Science, Calcutta University and currently attached to Asiatic Society) and Dr. Hari Vasudevan (Department of History, Calcutta University). A second visit was under- taken by Dr. Purabi Roy in 1996 which has enriched further the archival collection.
The Asiatic Society feels proud of the study done by these three scholars, especially in view of the fact that this is a pioneering work done by an academic institution in our country. They have returned with an Impressive stock of rare and till now inaccessible materials pertaining to Indo-Russian relations covering this crucial phase of India's freedom struggle and which are now in possession of the Society. Given the limited time-frame, the uncertain archival situation and rather difficult working conditions in Russia today, the work done by this team is truly commendable.


This first Checklist of documents has been the result of our collective work conducted in the Archives of the Russian Federation during 1995- 1996. Deputed by the Asiatic Society, Calcutta, we worked in a number of archives in Moscow and collected relevant materials pertaining to Indo- Russian relations for the period 1917-1947. The present Checklist comprises titles of documents collected from the RTsKhIDNI or Russian Centre for Conservation and Study of Records for Modern History (formerly Central Party Archives, Institute of Marxism-Leninism), RGVA or Russian State Military Archive and a part of the materials acquired from GARF or State Archive of the Russian Federation.
Although the Checklist contains important documents relating to various aspects of the Soviet perception of India's freedom struggle during a crucial period of the political history of modern India in the twentieth century, this is not a complete list of the holdings on India scattered in these archives comprising thousands of sheets. These could not be explored within the limited time at our disposal and also because of constraint of resources and the overall uncertain archival situation in Russia. Besides, many files which are expected to contain very important materials concerning India (1.e., Fond 495, Opis 74, that is, the Dimitrov Secretariat's correspondence with foreign communist parties) at RTsKhIDNI have remained closed. The RGVA was accessible to the re- searchers in 1995 but was declared closed in 1996. There were other operational difficulties too. Many of the documents have become so brittle that they are virtually unfit for copying, apart from the fact that there are official restrictions on the number of sheets that a researcher is allowed to copy within a stipulated period. Consequently, a large number of documents at RTsKhIDNI had to be copied by hand. In some cases, the documents being too lengthy, we had to take down relevant extracts by using our discretion. There are also documents which are rather fragmentary in nature, undated or without names, making identification of this kind of material very difficult. But these we could not ignore because of the importance of their contents.

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