Works of Tagore, Netaji Stolen from National Library?


New Delhi, Aug 5: A national treasure trove of rare books, manuscripts and letters associated with Rabindranath Tagore, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Sarat Chandra Chatterjee and Sarojini Naidu may have been stolen from Kolkata's National Library.

Worse, there's no way to know what exactly is missing, since the register containing records of the library's Rare Books Division itself is untraceable.

The rare collection contains Tagore's early works, letters of Netaji, manuscripts of Sarat Chandra and Bibhuti Bhushan Bandopadhaya, besides many valuable books from the 18th century and earlier. In fact, at least 40% of books and documents requisitioned by members from the entire library were reportedly not found, sources said.

An investigation has been launched into the missing books and other collectors items after the "theft" came to light during a routine examination of the accounts and functioning of the library by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

The premier auditing agency, sources said, constituted an 11-member team to investigate irregularities, especially to look into the missing treasures.

Sources said CAG has written to the culture ministry seeking immediate action against the director of the library who failed to provide details of the resources available at the centre. CAG, in its missive to the culture ministry, said that the entire library was in a mess and no inventory was available for most of its departments.

The library, one of its kind in the country, has a large collection of rare monographs, manuscripts, microfilms and other pieces of history, including the official documents from the days of the East India Company.

Other riches in the Rare Books Division include maps dating to the 17th century, xylographs presented by the Dalai Lama, collection of Burmese documents besides papers relating to Aden, Ceylon and the Persian Gulf.


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Title: Works of Tagore, Netaji Stolen from National Library?

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