‘Glimpses from Survey of India’, by Brig KG Behl, is a valuable collectable that marks the institution’s 250th year of existence.
By Anjali Nauriyal
It is all the more relevant that the book has been authored by none other than the former Dy. Surveyor, Brigadier KG Behl (retd), who has been closely associated with the institution. 250 years is a long period in the history of any institution. What adds to the might of the book is the fact that it tells the tale of an institution, that has stood rock solid in the service of the nation. Survey of India, as one of the country’s foremost instititions, has not only meticulously and painstakingly surveyed the entire country, but has put before the world the face of India that is exceptional. Talking about the book the author reveals that when the institution had completed 225 years, he had eulogized its achievement in the form of a poem. He states, ” Upon completion of this new landmark, I thought I must highlight the valuable work done by Indians in this significant area, because in the historical books published by the Britishers, no mention has been made of the Indians who carried out the difficult spade work with their sweat and blood, facing all the difficulties of climate, terrain, and clearances in forests full of wild life and reptiles and mosquitoes etc”. The Brigadier hopes that his efforts will be appreciated by future generations and members of the great institution, and above all fraternity of history and geography. Brig Behl has compiled data from various primary and secondary sources and has tried his utmost to set it systematically in sequential order. “I have delved on impressions based on official versions and comments and tried to include all salient features that have served as significant landmarks. It’s a book that should be read in a lighter vein, as my chief aim has all along been to collect information for posterity, and celebrating the contribution of countless Indians, in making Survey of India an eminent institution,” he underlines. “There have been many silent and selfless workers who have worked zealously over decades in updating and modernizing this institution, and keeping it state-of-art and ready in the face of technological onslaught of post modern times. My salute to all of them,” he signs off.