The renovated Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Memorial at Shahibaug will be more than a display centre of photographs and documents, unlike its earlier version. Prime minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the memorial on Tuesday.
The campus, spread over 36,000 square metre area, has been renovated by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Memorial Society at a cost of Rs28.47 crore. The memorial used to have a museum of Sardar Patel. However, the ramshackle building underwent significant renovation, said Balubhai Patel, joint secretary of the memorial society. The renovated museum is a combination of history, art and technology and will help visitors connect to Sardar and his virtues of simplicity and strong will power.
“There were only a few photographs and some documents on display. Now we have used technology to create a 3-D show and also a 30-minute movie on Sardar Patel’s life,” said Patel.
He added that earlier, the photographs were not placed in chronological order. Post renovation, the life of Sardar Patel has been explained in proper chronological order, providing insight into his life. The museum also has a separate section on erstwhile princely states and how Sardar Patel got them united.
It also houses miniatures of the houses of Sardar Patel as well as his maternal uncle in Karamsad, his residence in Delhi, Birla Bhavan where he died and his schools along with many other places associated with him.
The museum has three divisions dedicated to freedom fighters before Gandhi era, Gandhian freedom movement and revolutionary activities of Bhagat Singh, Subhash Chandra Bose and others. There is a separate division on Rabindranath Tagore, who spent a few days at Moti Shahi Palace, the official residence of his elder brother Satyendranath Tagore.
The special focus on aesthetics is bound to make the museum stand out among others in the country. “I have used brown colour heavily to give viewers an understanding of Sardar’s association with farmers and to highlight his simplicity,” said Shailesh Modi, who designed the museum. Modi said that he brought original colour samples from various places associated with Sardar’s life and created the miniatures using the same shade of colours. “I have also used khadi curtains used during those days in the miniature of Birla Bhavan,” said Modi.
He added that Tagore used yellow colour generously in his paintings. “So, the colour has been used along with green and gray, symbolising nature, in the division dedicated to the Nobel Laureate,” said Modi.
In terms of personal belongings of Sardar, the new museum has lot to offer. “We have received Sardar’s gifts and mementos from his daughter Maniben and stored them in a strong room on the ground floor,” said Balubhai.
Visitors will get a chance to have interactive sessions using technology.
“Our aim is to connect the youth with Sardar and 3-D show and 14 interactive displays will help us achieve our goal,” said Dinsha Patel, chairman of the memorial society.