Jamia’s Premchand Archive inaugurated an exhibition of the collection of Pandit Banarasidas Chaturvedi’s work and life this week. The collections in the exhibit comprise a wide range of photographs, books, letters and articles of his time.

The Director of the Prem Chand Archive, Sabiha Zaidi, said: “The archive aims at preserving the work of a legend who contributed in the national movement, social awakening and secular tradition of India. Pandit Ji wrote both in Hindi and Urdu; his writing depicts the plight of families of revolutionaries, Dalit, and communalism.”

During the exhibition, as a tribute to Pandit Banarasidas Chaturvedi, his grandson Dr. Apoorva Chaturvedi, TN Chaturvedi, a renowned Hindi author, and Wishwnath Tripathi, a counterpart of Pandit B. Chaturvedi, gave tribute lectures. The inauguration and the lecture were also attended by the Vice chancellor, Mushirul Hasan, lecturers and students.

Remembering the legend, Wishwnath Tripathi said Pandit Banarasidas Chaturvedi was a modest and determined writer who wrote what he felt. “He was man of social empathy who tried to reflect the complexities of that time in his literature.”

Taking a note on communalism, Pandit Banarasidas Chaturvedi had once said that it is quite possible that one can be a Hindu and an Indian too at the same time. “Epitomizing Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Banarasidas Chaturvedi argued that Gandhi “was a Gujrati, a Hindu, an Indian and a global citizen, and there was no conflict of functioning. The only problem comes when we toil to uniformity instead of unity,” Wishwnath Tripathi added.

Recalling the period of Pandit Banarasidas Chaturvedi, TN Chaturvedi said it was a time of simplicity, and writing used to be clear and direct. Pandit Banarasidas Chaturvedi was a common personality who was never wary about his attire but always serious regarding his work, Chaturvedi added. “He was not confined to one perception; he was a man of multi-dimensional writing.”

Pandit Banarasidas Chaturvedi was also known to be a visionary who has written ahead of his time. In his lifetime, he traveled to Fiji and Russia and met Indians living there. Touched by their plight he had written about Pravasi Bhartiya.

“In recent years we have felt the need for a Ministry of Diaspora, while he had written of this need decades ago. He was also acquainted with this subject that Gandhi Ji once said ‘if you want no about Pravasi Bhartiya you should ask Pandit Banarasidas Chaturvedi,” recalls Wishwnath Tripathi.

In his inaugural address the Vice Chancellor, Mushirul Hasan, said it is a matter of pride to have legendry work in our archive; the student of Jamia must be benefited by this collection.

With moist eyes the grandson of Pandit Banarasidas Chaturvedi, offered his thanks to Jamia‘s archive for the respect of the work of the literary man, and wished that students will witness this literary history.

“To make the Archive more popular among the students, we are organizing seminars in various departments and toiling hard to bring more of collection here. At present Acharaya Nishant Ketu and Padamshri Suntia Jain also agreed to contribute their work to the archive,” said Sabiha Zaidi.