Archives of Contemporary India

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S.P.K. Gupta Papers

S.P.K. Gupta Papers

My project on the Soviet Union arose out of a lifetime curiosity about the greatest 20th century experiment in social engineering and direct experience of it during my posting 1982-88 as Chief of Press Trust of India bureau in Moscow. This was a period of transition.

A veteran journalist, biographer and author, S.P.K. Gupta was born in 1931 at Guntur in Andhra Pradesh. After studying journalism in Madras, he joined the Press Trust of India (PTI) and his first posting was in Kurnool where he worked from 1953 to 1956. Later, he was sent to Bombay (Mumbai), and then to New Delhi where he covered Parliament and national politics from 1963 to 1982. As a war correspondent, Gupta reported the 1971 war on the western front.

He was in Moscow as a PTI correspondent during the Brezhnev-Gorbachev era, 1982-1988. He had the opportunity to interview Mikhail Gorbachev, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and to cover the travel of Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian into space as a part of the Soviet space mission. He returned as Foreign Editor to New Delhi in 1988.

S.P.K. Gupta has a keen interest in science and technology. He has written in collaboration with Dr. Edgar L. Milford the biography of scientist Dr. Yellapragada SubbaRow, In Quest of Panacea: Successes and Failures of Yellapragada SubbaRow (Evelyn Publishers, 1987). He has edited A Wreath for Doctor Ramayya (Evelyn Publishers in collaboration with Tribology Society of India, 2004), written by Ghen Shangin-Berezovsky and translated from Russian into English by Achala Jain.

Besides, he has also published, Apostle John and Gandhi: The Mission of John Haynes Holmes for Mahatma Gandhi in the United States of America, A Montage (Navjivan, 1988). He has documented his reporting experience of the 1971 Bangladesh war from the western front in a book titled Dispatches of Samar Samvadi (2021). He is currently working on the history of communism from the outbreak of the Russian Revolution to the eclipse of the Soviet Union.

About the Collection: S.P.K. Gupta has donated a rich collection of papers pertaining mainly to his tenure as a PTI correspondent in the USSR in the 1980s. There are rare issues of Soviet Land magazine, Music in Russia, and Problems of Communism magazine, Soviet documents (APN releases) and press clippings. There is also material on China, U.S.A. and Afghanistan. Besides, there are notes, articles and other papers on scientists J.B.S. Haldane, Kolachala Seetaramayya, Yellapragada Subbarow and Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar. The collection covers the period 1980-2005 and is a valuable source material for researchers interested in the study of international relations, medicine and journalism.

Donor: S.P.K Gupta
Acquisition: 2022