Address by Governor at the inauguration of the exhibition ‘India and the World ; A History in Nine Stories’ in Mumbai

    प्रकाशित तारीख: November 10, 2017

    Address by Governor at the inauguration of the exhibition ‘India and the World ; A History in Nine Stories’ in Mumbai

    Address by Shri CH Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the inauguration of the exhibition ‘India and the World ; A History in Nine Stories’ on the Museum Lawns of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai at 06.00 PM on Friday, 10 November 2017

    The Rt. Hon. Karen Bradley, MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, U.K., Sir Dominique Asquith, KCMG, British High Commissioner to India, Mr. Eknath Kshirsagar, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Dr Hartwig Fischer, Director, British Museum, Dr B. R. Mani, Director General, National Museum, New Delhi, Mr Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Director General, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, formerly Prince of Wales Museum, Directors of various museums from across the world, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

    At the very outset, I extend a warm welcome and greetings to each one of you. My special welcome to our guests from various countries who are here to witness the Exhibition.

    I am indeed delighted that the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai is organizing a unique and historic exhibition ‘India and the World: A History in Nine Stories’ to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Indian Independence. It is heartening to note that this exhibition is part of the joint patronage of India and the U.K. in view of the official celebration of the 70th anniversary of Indian Independence and the India-U.K. Year of Culture.

    I am very happy that the British Museum, London and the National Museum, New Delhi have lent their support and collaboration in organizing this Exhibition.

    The exhibition showcases India’s glorious past through iconic art objects from various Indian collections (about 90 objects) that represent important moments in India’s history set in a wider global context.

    What I found remarkable about this exhibition, was the joining of hands by various museums. I was pleased to note that Museums and private collectors have generously contributed to the exhibition, while the British Museum has loaned more than 100 objects on a temporary basis.

    I want this joint collaboration to be the beginning of a long and sustained association between Indian Museums and global museums.

    I do believe that if people cannot visit global museums, museums should take the lead and visit people.

    Ladies and gentlemen,

    There was a time when the world used to think of India as a land of snake charmers and black magic. Thanks to the IT revolution set off by our young generation, the perception of India in the eyes of the world has changed. However the task is not finished. We have to present India in its pristine glory.

    In his book ‘The Case for India’, famous American historian Will Durant wrote and I quote:

    “India is a civilization five thousand years old, endlessly rich in philosophy, literature, religion and art, and infinitely appealing in its weaponless struggle for liberty. India is the mother of philosophy, mother of Mathematics, mother of the ideas embodied in Christianity, mother of self-government and democracy. Mother India, is in many ways, the mother of us all.” (unquote)

    I think the real India can be presented to the world through Museums and such joint exhibitions.

    Australia, which has a population one-fifth of Maharashtra has 2000 museums. All these museums are running despite not being funded by government.

    India needs several museums to showcase its riches in the diverse fields of human endeavor, and I want the world museums to help us create subject-wise museums.

    With its population of 115 million, Maharashtra alone can have at least 100 museums. I am sure, museums will make the learning of our students holistic as well as interesting.

    As Governor, I happen to be Chancellor of 20 universities where nearly 3 million students are pursuing higher and professional education. I am going to ask Vice Chancellors of all universities to design programmes and courses for training staff to design, build and run museums professionally.

    I am happy to know that the exhibition was jointly conceptualized and curated by the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya and the British Museum. Tata Trusts and the Getty Foundation deserve our wholehearted compliments for supporting the exhibition. We need more Corporate and private sector funding to make our museums lively and buzzing places.

    I am tempted to mention here that the Raj Bhavan, Mumbai has recently discovered a British era underground structure, now historically established as a ‘Bunker’. It was constructed sometime towards the end of the 20th Century. We are in the process of restoring and rejuvenating the bunker and we are working with the State Tourism Department to create a grand museum that will depict the history and culture of Maharashtra using modern 3D technology. I take this opportunity to invite you to visit the Raj Bhavan Bunker Museum as and when it gets ready.

    Such exhibitions organized by the museums, educational institutes, the Government set-ups, and private sectors connect the people with art, history and heritage and create a sense of pride about their culture in the minds of children and students.

    Once again, I express my deep appreciation for the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya and its dyanamic head Mr Mukherjee for presenting this path-breaking exhibition. I also compliment other organizers, collaborators and sponsors of the Exhibition and I appeal to students, teachers, schools, history lovers and citizens to witness it.

    Thank you

    Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!