Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Comment given to Deccan Herald on 30 th Nov 2015

ICHR has given a special status to IHC for past couple of decades by granting money for hosting its annual conference, which always exceeds the ceiling. In addition to this lump sum, large amounts were paid for holding panel discussions, symposia and travel reimbursements for foreign delegates attending the conference. Earlier, if my memory is correct, IHC was not depending on the Government or its institutions for financial assistance. If I am right, it did start only with Warangal session when Prof Irfan Habib was the Chairman. I am subject to correction. I agree that it is one of the oldest and most reputed bodies of Historians but over time many other South East Asian, national, regional and thematic organisations have come up. ICHR being a government body cannot make discriminations by giving a particular organisation a special status and ignore the rest of the organisations in a democratic country. Until now, ICHR has not attempted to prepare guidelines for assessing each organisation when considering for grants. We are also planning to convene a meeting with the representatives of registered organisations to work out parameters to accord financial help (you can see this on the ICHR website). The rationale for sanctioning grants to hold annual conferences of the professional bodies has to be worked out.