Delhi Archives to record oral history of city in 2 years
New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS) The Delhi Archives, in collaboration with Ambedkar University, on Monday launched the Delhi government's 'Oral History Programme' and plans to interview 100 local residents in the next two years.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the Art and Culture portfolio, said history is dominated by voice of the ruling classes and "Delhi government wants to record voices of Delhi's aam insaans (common man)".
The project is an extension of Delhi government's agenda to democratise knowledge.
"By recording the memories of 100 of Delhi's ordinary residents from different strata of society over the next two years, the project aims to document the history of the city from the perspective of its inhabitants," Sisodia said.
Sisodia, in a statement said, the historical narrative had excluded the experiences of ordinary citizens.
"This imbalance leaves a critical gap that fails to project the real picture. It is perhaps for this one-sided historical perspective that history becomes unrelatable to most people. The story of Delhi is not just about epic wars and the fall and rise of kingdoms, it is also about intimate details, the songs, festivals, weddings, the recipes, the businesses that will come alive for the younger generation."
He explained the first phase of the initiative will map senior citizens' connect with Delhi.
Sisodia said the project will offer much to the country owing to the city's composite culture.
"The elderly are a treasure trove of stories and the custodians of our history. Through common experiences and shared histories, people might realise we have more in common than what those wanting to polarise our society would want us to believe. It is also essential to disseminate oral history as it will help tackle constant attempts to manipulate our past to advance a particular narrative."
The government also signed an MoU with the Ambedkar University to record historical events from the memories of locals.