New Indian-Chennai News + more

Members Login
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: The proceedings of the 74th session of Indian History Congress held at Cuttack from 28th to 30th December 2013 (1)


Status: Offline
Posts: 1
The proceedings of the 74th session of Indian History Congress held at Cuttack from 28th to 30th December 2013 (1)

The proceedings of the 74th session of Indian History Congress held at Cuttack from 28th to 30th December 2013 (1)


Note: This write-up has been prepared based on personal observation, discussion with the delegates and the press reports and references are given in the footnotes for cross verification.


All sorts of critical comments are welcome for correction, rectification and furtherance wherever necessary or required.

Indian History Congress (hereinafter mentioned as “IHC”) has been a registered society in which now, there have been many thousands of members[1]. Earlier, anybody who is interested in history can become a member, however, it has been changed later with some modifications[2]. After 1990s, the IHC had become battle ground for the ideologists fighting there through the manipulated “Office bearers set-up” openly exhibited during the General Body Meetings. The well-known fact has been that the Marxists, Muslims and other ideological groups have been dominating, controlling and hegimonizing the IHC, which has been / is questioned by general, unbiased and neutral members many times. After the passing away of Prof Grover, perhaps, the questioning factor has also disappeared. Though the rightist, RSS and other nationalist groups attempted to equalize the ideological bias, neutralize the leftists domination and secularize IHC, that has not been successful because of the crude, unfinished and occasional methods applied by those groups as against the sophisticated, professional and well-designed plans and agendas of the controlling groups. Though the dissatisfaction, displeasure and unhappiness has been there, they are not voiced, exhibited and registered explicitly, but contented, suppressed and discussed among the few silently. Under such circumstances, the 74th session of IHC was held at Cuttack, Odisha. As usual, there was some confusion over the directions given to the delegates in the circulars. First, they were asked to come to Cuttack, but suddenly, all were asked to come to Bhubaneswar, so that they could be taken to Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (hereinafter mentioned as KIIT) and accommodated.


Ravenshaw University, where the IHC session was held

Ravenshaw University, where the IHC session was held

Spending huge amount on the occasion: The State government had reportedly decided to spend huge funds on other activities on the pretext of hosing IHC. The ASI, Museums and others were activated suddenly for the three-day show[3], while the temples in the city have been neglected and crumbling down, as reported in the local media.  In fact, for the last decades, many temple lands have been grabbed by the people with vested political interests and passed over to MNCs and industries. Ravenshaw University was getting refurbished in war-footing manner, the buildings in the campus were cleaned, whitewashed and made ready for the three-day Indian History Congress beginning here from Saturday 28-12-2013 to host the largest body of academicians and researchers of social science for the second time ever since the congress was formed way back in 1935[4]. While the University was now hosting the 74th session of the congress, its 12th session was held here, when it was “Ravenshaw college” in 1949 under the aegis of Dr Harekrushna Mahatab. Eminent historian of the State Dr Manmathnath Das played the pivotal role in bringing the congress once again to the State when Utkal University hosted its 38th session in 1977[5]. Thus, the local media and others recollected the conduct of IHC there in Orissa, that is now known as Odisha.


KIIT campus-3 where the delegates stayed

KIIT campus-3 where the delegates stayed

Accommodation arranged at Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT): Nearly most of the delegates other than the elite-eminent categories were accommodated at the campus of Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT). Definitely, the staff and ward of the KIIT had been so kind enough to take care of the needs of the delegates, unlike the IHC office-bearers coterie, that always stayed back in “star-category” accommodation. The KIIT campus has been kept neat and clean providing the required facilities to the delegates like rug, hot-water etc. They also gave CDs explaining the activities of KIIT and KISS. However, they were made to travel daily one-and-half hours to reach the University venue, attend the conference and come back taking another one-and-half hour. Thus, three to four hours were wasted in travelling daily. The important point is that they were given food there only daily at the “Food Court”. The outdoor catering was provided by the Aditya’s Restaurant and catering services, with the serving carried on the trainees of Catering Technology. As the KIIT has been a very spacious campus with all facilities, the entire arrangement could have been made there itself. However, the hosting of IHC by Ravenshaw University came into play to make them compulsorily come and return.

Ravanshaw University174th session of Indian History Congress at Cuttack held from 28th to 30th December 2013: The delegates started assembling at the newly constructed “Convention hall”.  The “Food Court” was there opposite to it. Till 10.30, workers were hectically bringing flower pots, spreading red carpets and other touching up work. Suddenly, the crowd started swelling and many of the delegates had to stand and watch the show. The organizers could understand the awkward condition and announce that they could watch the show from the Annexed halls opposite to the“Convention hall”.  As expected, the CM, Minister, MPs, MLAs and others came late and the function started by 11 am. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik  inaugurated the inaugurate Indian History Congress at Ravenshaw University in Cuttack on December 27, 2013 in the newly constructed Convention Center in presence of Badrinarayan Patra, local MP Bhartruhari Mahatab and Indian History Congress president Prof Indu Banga.

The present office bearers of IHC: The office bearers of the IHC have been as follows[6]:

General President: Professor Indu Banga (Punjab University, Chandigarh)

Vice Presidents: Prof. Irfan Habib (AMU) and Prof. B.B. Chaudhary (Kolkata)

Secretary: Prof. S. Zaheer Husain Jafri (Delhi University)

Treasurer: Dr Tripta Verma (Delhi)

Joint Secretaries: Dr. J.J. Sudhakar (Chennai) and Dr. Dayanand Roy (Bhagalpur)

Sectional Presidents


Ancient IndiaProf. K.N. Ganesh (Calicut)
Medieval IndiaProf. Pius Malekandethil (JNU)
Modern IndiaProf. Raj Sekhar Basu (Calcutta)
Countries other than IndiaProf. Utsa Patnaik (JNU)
ArchaeologyProf. K.K. Bhan (Pune)
Contemporary IndiaProf. Professor Akeel Bilgrami (Columbia University)




Dr. Mahendra Pratap (Varanasi)Prof. M. Venkateshwar Rao (Andhra Pradesh)
Prof . Apurba Chakravarti (Malda)Prof. Arun Bandopadhyay (Kolkata)
Prof. B.P. Sahu (Delhi)Prof. B.S. Chandra Babu (Tamil Nadu)
Prof. Chandi Prasad Nanda (Cuttack)Prof. C.P.N. Sinha (Bihar)
Prof. Dharmendra Kumar (West Bengal)Prof. G.S.L Devra (Rajasthan)
Prof. Jahnabi Gogoi Nath (Dibrugarh)Prof. J.V. Naik (Maharashtra)
Prof. Kulbir Singh Dhillon (Punjab)Prof. K.T. Thomas (Kerala)
Prof. Radhika Seshan (Maharashtra)Prof. Rajan Saikia (Assam)
Prof. Shireen Moosvi (Aligarh)Prof. Surendra Rao (Mangalagangotri)
Prof. Susanta Das (Kolkata)Prof. T.R. Ghoble (Mumbai)

However, some of them did not attend the session e.g, M. Venkateshwar Rao, B.S. Chandra Babu etc.






[1] As per registration under the Societies Registration Act, 1860; For the Constitution, see here:

[2] An application for initial membership will be accepted if the applicant (a) holds at least a post-graduate

degree in History or is undertaking research leading to M.Phil / Ph.D. degree in an allied field or (b) has

published a book or an academic paper on a historical theme (full reference to be provided).

Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to

Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard