Archives of Contemporary India

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S.R. Mehrotra Papers

S.R. Mehrotra Papers

"Mehta was the first person who recognized in Gandhi both the mahatma and the future liberator of India. He encouraged and enabled Gandhi to return to his native land in January 1915. Himself a versatile man, Mehta, throughout his life, provided Gandhi with great material and moral support."

Prof. S.R. Mehrotra (b.1931-d.2019), a renowned historian known for his meticulous detail of original sources in chronicling the history of the struggle for freedom in India, the Indian National Congress and the life and work of its founder Allan Octavian Hume, writings and philosophy of Dadabhai Naoroji and Mahatma Gandhi. An alumni of the Allahabad University and the University of London, S.R. Mehrotra taught in the Department of History at the Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) from 1972 to 1991. Before joining HPU, he taught politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London), from where he earned his PhD in 1960. He was also a visiting fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge, Jawaharlal Nehru Professor at MD University, Rohtak and a fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla. He was awarded the Doctor of Literature honoris causa by HPU, conferred in 2014 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

A prolific writer, Prof. Mehrotra has written and edited several books including The Emergence of the Indian National Congress (1971); The Commonwealth and the Nation (1978); Towards India’s Freedom and Partition (1979); A History of the Indian National Congress, 1885-1918 (1995); Indian Home Rule: Hind Swaraj (a centenary edition, 2010); The Mahatma & the Doctor (2014); Dadabhai Naoroji: Selected Private Papers (co-edited with Dinyar Patel, 2016).

About the Collection: The collection features some of his meticulously preserved reference notes on historical personalities such as Edwin Montagu, Lord Chelmsford, A.O. Hume, Dadabhai Naoroji, Mahatma Gandhi, Pranjivan Mehta and M.A. Jinnah; source material collected from various archives and libraries for articles on freedom movement, Indian National Congress, A.O. Hume house in Shimla, history of Etawah district, and correspondence with academics and publishers of his books. The collection also contains some rare books on South Asian history.

Donor: Sanjay Mehrotra
Acquisition: 2019