नेहरू की देहरादून जेल यात्रा : पत्रकार राजू गुसांई ने खोजी असल जेल बैरक

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दीपक आजाद: हरकत में आई प्रदेश सरकार : देश के पहले प्रधानमंत्री जवाहर लाल नेहरू स्वतंत्रता आंदोलन के दौरान अंग्रेजों से लड़ते हुए कई साल जेल की कोठरियों में कैद रहे। वर्ष 1932-33 में अंग्रेजों ने नेहरू को गिरतार कर देहरादून जेल में रखा। उस दौरान कई और स्वतंत्रता सेनानी भी नेहरू के साथ दून जेल में रहे। नेहरू जेल की जिस बैरक में रखे गए उसकी ऐतिहासिकता को देखते हुए सरकार से उसे संरक्षित करने की मांग उठती रही है।

पत्रकार राजू गुसांई का दावा है कि सरकार जिस बैरक को अब तक नेहरू सेल के नाम से प्रचारित करती रही, असल में उस सेल में नेहरू रहे ही नहीं। गुसांई ने नेहरू की जेल डायरी और आटोबायोग्राफी के हवाले से दावा किया कि जिस बैरक में नेहरू को कैद किया गया था, उसमें सालों तक जेल अधिकारियों ने अपना आवास बनाए रखा। उसके कुछ ही मीटर के फासले पर स्थित दूसरी बैरक को अभी तक नेहरू से जोड़कर देखा जाता रहा है।

गुसांई की रिसर्च पर राज्यपाल की दखल के बाद राज्य सरकार भी हरकत में आई है। आर्कियोलाजीकल सर्वे आफ इण्डिया और राज्य सरकार के संस्कृति विभाग अब नेहरू सेल को संरक्षित करने की योजना पर काम कर रहे हैं। कुछ समय पहले देहरादून में नई जेल बनने से यह ऐतिहासिक जेल परिसर पूरी तरह खाली हो चुका है। पिछले दिनों राज्य सरकार इस पुरानी जेल परिसर में मेडिकल कॉलेज का भी शिलान्यास कर चुकी है। सरकार का कहना है कि नेहरू सेल को संरक्षित करते हुए इसी परिसर में मेडिकल कॉलेज भी बनाया जाएगा।


पत्रकार राजू गुसांई का रिसर्च पेपर

My point: Discovering Nehru's 1932 cell in Doon

By Raju Gusain

Dehradun: With my recent report in the Hindustan Times (Nehru's cell now houses jail staff, HT, November 12) I claim to have discovered the cell/barrack where the first Prime Minister of India, Jawahar Lal Nehru, was imprisoned in 1932-33.The cell is of great historic importance as Nehru spent one of the longest jail terms of his life at the mentioned cell.

Incidentally,Nehru spent almost twelve years of his life behind bars. And the barrack where he lived for fourteen and a half months in 1932-33 is now home to two deputy jailors and one doctor.My report is based on facts mentioned by none other than Nehru in his Jail diaries and autobiography.
It will be recalled that in 1932-33,he compiled his famous book 'Glimpses of World History' at the three-room barrack in Dehradun.For my research to discover the forgotten cell, I approached many premier organisations like the British Library (London), National Archives of India, National Library (Calcutta) and the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (New Delhi).But the jail diaries of Nehru helped me in locating this old structure. I combed through little bits of narration to identify this piece of history.

The cell : Nehru made this 1932 cell famous by narrating these well known linesin his autobiography, "For fourteen and a half months, I lived in my little cell or room in the Dehradun Gaol, and I began to feel as if Iwas a part of it. I was familiar with every bit of it; I knew everymark and dent on the नेहरू whitewashed walls and on the uneven floor and theceiling with its moth-eaten rafters."

The location : Commenting on his 1932 quarters, he writes in his 8 June diary, "Weare settling in our quarters. We are really not in the jail proper butjust outside it in the warders' old quarters."Giving further details he states in his autobiography that the cell (page 353).'

He makes a similar observation about another building ofthe Dehra Dun jail. He says, "Within the compound, but outside the gaol walls, there was another small building called the European lockup."These details clearly indicate that a wall from the main jail separated the 1932 cell where Nehru stayed, as well as the European lock-up. It will be recalled that there are just three identified buildings of the old jail viz - European lock-up, old jail and old house of the jailor.

Identifying the 1932 cell : After reaching the conclusion that the European cells and Nehru's 1932cell are located in the same row I started looking for other information more vigorously. The 6 June diary provided more clues,"What a change from the 24 foot wall of our barrack in Bareilly! Here we have a baby wall- hardly deserving the name of jail wall - barelynine feet. It is easy enough to hop over it."

Nehru's autobiography provided other useful lines, "This place(barrack) is so small that there was no room to walk about in it, and so we were allowed, morning and evening, to go out and - walk up and down in front of the gate, a distance of about a hundred yards."The cell discovered by me is located almost a hundred yards (95 to be more accurate) from the main gate and its wall is of nine feet.Besides this, in his 1932-33 jail diaries, most of the time Nehru is in company of two other inmates.

In June 1932, he was with GovindBallabh Pant and Kunwar Anand Singh. In August 1932, with Diwan RamChander Kapoor and Anand Singh.

In his 26 March 1933 dairy, Nehru writes about washing 'Newar' with two other inmates. This gives an indication of a three-room barrack. So the barrack was located outsidethe goal wall, about a hundred yards from the main gate, the wall of which was of nine feet and consisted of three rooms.",

Conclusion : After my report appeared in the Hindustan Times, the jail authorities were heard saying, 'Wo to pagala gaya hai.' But I would like say my report is based on research.When I first informed the Jail authorities about the 1932 jail term of our first Prime Minister, here, they out rightly rejected my claim.But on 14 November 2004 they admitted to Nehru coming to the Doon valley as a prisoner in 1932. Even in the latest case, I expect thesame to happen.

लेखक दीपक आजाद हाल-फिलहाल तक दैनिक जागरण, देहरादून में कार्यरत थे. इन दिनों स्वतंत्र पत्रकार के रूप में सक्रिय हैं.


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