Kipling's Allahabad bungalow in a shambles
By S. Neelam
June 8 (IANS) A bungalow close to Allahabad University where
Rudyard Kipling - the renowned author of such classics as
"Kim" and "The Jungle Book" - lived for
a year in the late 19th century is now in a shambles.
successive governments in the northern Indian state of Uttar
Pradesh and Allahabad University turning down requests from
the bungalow's owners to purchase it, it is gradually collapsing
for want of upkeep. A major portion of the land where it was
built has already been sold off.
had lived in the bungalow, located on 1,300 square yards of
land next to the Motilal Nehru Road, from 1888 to 1889 when
he was assistant editor with the Pioneer newspaper in Allahabad.
I recall correctly, as vice chancellor of Allahabad University,
I had written a letter to the University Grants Commission
in 1985 to provide funds to get the land and the bungalow,"
R.P. Mishra, former vice chancellor of the varsity, told IANS
on phone from Delhi.
Mishra left the university, there was no follow-up.
owner of the land, Sudhir Tandon, too asserted that he had
approached the state government and the university authorities
many times to buy the place at a reasonable price but they
did not seem to be interested.
approached Gopal Mehrotra, the then principal secretary to
chief minister Narayan Dutt Tiwari, himself an alumnus of
Allahabad University, and submitted my proposal to sell the
land to the government in 1989," Tandon told IANS.
said he had also approached Mishra in 1985. "I finally
entered into an agreement with a private developer, Kamzor
Varg Evam Karmachari Sahkari Grih Samiti, and sold off 70
percent of the land," said Tandon.
clarified that the bungalow stood on the remaining 30 percent
of the land, which has not been sold so far.
said, "I feel strongly for a personality like Kipling
and understand the bungalow's importance. I will sell it if
the government approaches me."
former vice-chancellor and Tandon are not the only ones to
have written to the authorities. Successive principals of
the Government Nursery Training College, which was run from
the bungalow till 2007, had written over a dozen letters to
the government and the university, requesting them for the
contacted, the present acting Finance Officer of Allahabad
University, J.N. Mishra, told IANS, "I don't have any
idea about this land. Contact the university registrar."
Firdau Wani said, "I am on leave, I can't comment on
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