No book on Gandhi in Gandhi Library: ‘On the verge of closure’ | punjab | Hindustan Times
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No book on Gandhi in Gandhi Library: ‘On the verge of closure’

This library in Punjab’s Tarn taran has 175 books, a lot which are stacked in three cupboards that remain locked. The keys remain with the MC employee tasked with caretaking. No wonder, no book was issued in the last five years, shows the record.

punjab Updated: Oct 02, 2017 20:43 IST
Anil Sharma
A portrait of Mahatma Gandhi on top of the three cupboards that remain locked, at Gandhi Library, Tarn Taran, on Monday, October 2, his birth anniversary.
A portrait of Mahatma Gandhi on top of the three cupboards that remain locked, at Gandhi Library, Tarn Taran, on Monday, October 2, his birth anniversary. (HT Photo)

It’s named after him, but you can’t read about him here — that’s the irony of Gandhi Library in Tarn Taran. As Mahatma Gandhi, ‘Bapu’ or Father of the Nation, was remembered on his 148th birth anniversary on Monday, this library reflected a larger ground reality.

Constructed by the municipal council in the 1980s — the foundation stone was laid by the then assembly speaker, Brij Bushan Mehra in 1983 — it now has 175 books, a lot which are stacked in three cupboards that remain locked. The keys remain with the MC employee tasked with caretaking. No wonder, no book was issued in the last five years, shows the record.

Around 50 people visit everyday read newspapers and some old books. “A decade ago, the library had proved a boon for the people here, for it had many latest books,” said 55-year-old Dharambir, who was reading newspapers at the library. “Now it is on the verge of closure.”

Local social activist Harikrishan Arora commented, “The government is not reviving the library and, if the present condition persists, it will indeed be closed soon.”

Local Congress MLA Dharambir Agnihotri shifted the blame for now: “The library remained neglected during the SAD-BJP regime in the last 10 years.”

He added, “I will also request the government now to arrange latest books for the library and revive it.”

Deputy commissioner Pardeep Kumar Sabharwal, however, claimed he was unaware of the situation and “will direct the officers concerned to look into the matter”.