Archives of Contemporary India

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Pramod Kumar Srivastava Papers

Pramod Kumar Srivastava Papers

"Even from behind prison walls nationalist prisoners presented a well-determined political resistance to colonial administration through mass hunger strikes. This technique exposed the discriminatory treatment of political prisoners and fanned public opinion against the colonial regime."


Renowned historian and a pioneer in the field of oral history, Prof. Pramod Kumar Srivastava was born on 7 October 1952 at Ballia, Uttar Pradesh. Prof. Srivastava received his initial education at King Edward Government Inter College, Deoria, U.P., and obtained a Master’s degree from the Department of Western History, University of Lucknow, U.P. He obtained his doctorate on American Imperialism in Philippines (1983), and D.Lit. on the ‘Struggle for Existence of British Colonies of South Pacific Islands, Fiji Islands, Solomon Islands, Islands of New Hebrides and Tonga’ (1990) also from the University of Lucknow.

He initially joined the Western History Department of Lucknow University as a Research Associate (1983), was appointed lecturer (1994), promoted as Professor in 2007, retired as its Head in 2015, and after retirement, became Emeritus Fellow (UGC), 2015-2017.

During his distinguished teaching and research career, Prof. Pramod Kumar Srivastava headed many research projects such as ‘Oral History of Freedom Struggle with special reference to Ex-Andaman Freedom Fighters, 1921-1947’ for Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi, (1991); Segregating Dangerous Ideas: Colonial and Criminal Justice in the Andaman Islands, 1898-1948 as UGC Major Research Project (2006-2010); and Political Protests from Behind the Bars: Escapes, Assaults, Work and Hunger Strikes in British Colonial Prisons’ as UGC-Emeritus Fellow (2015-2017). He is acclaimed for documenting the role and experiences of political prisoners transported to Cellular Jail, Andaman Islands during the colonial rule.

Prof. Srivastava was part of various national and international conferences and presented research papers on varied themes like ‘Freedom, Peace, and Gandhi’, Revolt in Kala Paani, Oral History of Japanese Occupation of Andaman Islands, 1942-45’, etc.

Prof. Srivastava is Secretary of Martyrs Memorial & Freedom Struggle Research Centre at Lucknow which was founded in 1983 by Ex-Andaman Freedom Fighters, convicts of Second Lahore Conspiracy case and close associates of Sardar Bhagat Singh and Chandra Shekhar Azad. He is also a founding member of the Oral History Association of India (founded in 2013) that engages policy makers, educators, and others to adopt best practices for promoting oral history.

A prolific writer and a keen researcher, Prof. Pramod Kumar Srivastava has to his credit several research papers and articles on the freedom movement. His publications include among others, Hunger Strike in Andaman: Repression and Resistance of Transported Prisoners in Cellular Jail, 12 May-26 June 1933 (2004); Mahatma Betrayed (2005); Destination Oceania: Frontiers of Clash of Civilizations (2006); Kalapani: Andaman ki Dandi Basti (Hindi, Punjabi and Oriya) (2006); and Bhagat Singh ke Sahyogi Shiv Verma (2013). He has also edited a special issue of Young Indian in 1993 dedicated to August Kranti-1942.

About the Collection: The papers of Prof. Pramod Kumar provide a fascinating source material for the study of freedom struggle in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The collection consists of articles, seminar papers and copies of his unpublished research papers on the history of Andaman Islands, and audio CDs of the interviews of freedom fighters and prisoners in Andaman Islands. (Catalogue available)

Donor: Pramod Kumar Srivastava
Acquisition: 2017