The home of businessman Jayaprakash Sarda in Shanthinagar holds a special treasure like no other – priceless artefacts related to Indian independence and freedom fighters such as Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru and others.
Collected over three decades, it boasts stamps issued by 125 countries around the world on Mahatma Gandhi, 10,000 pre-independence newspapers and 1,000 magazines on various issues, letters written by freedom fighters like Gandhi , Nehru, Patel, Bose, Chowdary Charan Singh, Jairamdas Daulataram, Ghanshyam Das Birla, Jamnalal, Anugraha Sinha and others. Things related to Gandhi and Bose are the most numerous.
Mr. Sarda told The Hindu, “I started collecting items 35 years ago with stamps. The passion kept growing and in the late 90s I started collecting medals, newspapers and photographs, and over time I developed the passion for India as a country and I started collecting a lot about Indian freedom fighters and Indian independence. .”
This resulted in an original set of newspapers from 1857, which tells us the story of India’s first war of independence, a set of rare crockery given to VIP members of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) session where the flag with ‘charaka’ was adopted in 1930, more than 354 original photographs of Gandhi, 75 original photographs of Bose and other freedom fighters, among others.
Mr Sarda says a ‘charaka’ used by Gandhi is a prized possession. A rare wall clock, which is still in good condition and was made around 1928 or 1930 with an image of Gandhi, Balagangadhar Tialk and vande mataram written on it, and a German made Gandhi image torch made in 1929 is also included from this list, among others as a control sheet with an image of Gandhi, notepads with images of Gandhi and Bose, key rings, medallions, buttons, etc.
Bose brand ambassador
A rare possession in his collections is an item featuring Netaji Subash Chandra Bose as the ‘Orient Fan’ brand ambassador. Mr. Sarda has the original Bose copy featured in an Orient Fan ad. It also has a full-page advertisement of Sarojini Naidu.
He also has several silver coins with images of Gandhi, hats with images like the slogans of Gandhi, Bose, Jai Hind, Nehru, Bharat Mata and Akhand Bharath, a rare handkerchief with images of Gandhi, Churchill and Hitler, a biscuit tin with Gandhi’s image, Gandhi’s hanging watch, hairpins with Gandhi’s image produced in 1930, about 300 original paintings from different ambiences of Sabaramati Ashram, about 10 original newspapers announcing Gandhi’s death, King George one rupee note autographed by Gandhi, playing cards, sugar packets, bear casters, cigar labels, locks, train tickets with Gandhi’s image, ink dipped pen with Gandhi’s images , Bose, Nehru, among others.
He has exhibited over 150 times at many colleges in the state and he will be exhibiting them again on August 15 at Jain College, Jayanagar as part of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations.
“I want to create a small museum that everyone can visit and which will present the history of India. We have inherited a great culture. My older brother helped me a lot financially and otherwise. I will appeal to my daughter and my brother’s daughters to take care of it so that it remains for future generations,” he said.