@ Vikash Sharma | Sr Journalist
The National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi celebrated Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav with Kala Kumbh- artist workshops for painting scrolls, representing the tales of valor of unsung heroes of India’s freedom movement. The works of art done on the gigantic scrolls will form an integral part of the Republic day celebrations 2022, marking a unique collaboration between Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Defence.
These scrolls analyse the potential of art as a means to express National pride and excellence with varied forms of art from diverse geographical locations of the country. The celebration of true essence of Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat was visible in these workshops where the rich diversity of our country in its cultural aspects was witnessed while portraying the heroic lives and struggles of unsung heroes of India’s freedom movement. These have been diligently researched upon and painted enthusiastically by more than five hundred artists spread over two locations, Odisha and Chandigarh.
Aligning with the flagship program of the Ministry of Culture, the aspect of collaborations and collective work has been outlined in these workshops. At Odisha , the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi collaborated with Kalinga Institute of Technology and Silicon Institute of Technology in Bhubaneswar from 11th – 17th December and at Chandigarh the collaboration was done with Chitkara University from 25th Dec 2021 – 2nd January 2022.
Kala Kumbh- Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav reflects the essence of unity in diversity while also analyzing the initiative of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of progressive India and the glorious history of its people, culture and its achievements. The scrolls painted in these workshops may be seen as an embodiment of all that is progressive about India’s socio-cultural identity which has been imparted prominence on the large scale scrolls as per the artistic vision of Shri Adwait Garanayak, Director- General, NGMA and mentored by eminent senior artists.
Ten gigantic scrolls of approximately seven hundred and fifty meters portray the tales of valour and legacy of the unsung heroes of India’s freedom struggle. Inspiration has also been drawn from the creative illustrations in the Constitution of India wherein the artistic elements painted by Nandalal Bose and his team have imparted a distinctive appeal alongwith several representations from the indigenous arts of India. These represent and showcase the rich cultural heritage of India alongwith the insights of struggles undertaken by the unsung heroes for achieving India’s freedom.
At Bhubaneswar, the narratives have reflected the tales of valor and historical elements of India’s movement of freedom struggle focusing on Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bengal, north eastern parts of India and Andhra Pradesh with artistic expressions reflecting the indigenous forms of art such as Pattachitra, Talapatra Chitra, Manjusa, Madhubani and Jadu Patua to name a few.
At Chandigarh, the narratives have been a reflection of the tales of valor of unsung heroes from Ladakh, Jammu, Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan with artistic expressions reflecting the indigenous forms of art such as Phad, Pichwai, Miniature, Kalamkari, Mandana, Thangka and Warli.
These artist workshops have been a huge success and has been visited by several students at both the venues. NCC cadets have also witnessed the creative representations of India’s unsung heroes of freedom struggle at Chandigarh. Lt. Gen Devendra Sharma, SM, Chief of Staff, HQ Western Command, Lt. Col Abhinav Navneet, PRO (Defence), DPR, Major D.P Singh (Retd) along with other officials from Ministry of Defence have also graced the workshop at Chandigarh with their visit for having an insightful journey of India’s unsung heroes of freedom struggle. The workshop was also graced by the presence of Honorary Captain Bana Singh, PVC and Subedar Sanjay Kumar, PVC who inspired the NCC cadets and the visitors by sharing their incredibly courageous stories of valor.
The closing ceremony of Kalakumbh- Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav at Chandigarh was graced by Shri Banwari Lal Purohit, Hon’ble Governor of Punjab and Administrator of UT Chandigarh and at Bhubaneshwar by Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Dr. Achutya Samanta who is also the founder of KIIT and KISS. Series of cultural programs were held in the evenings during these workshops, reflecting upon the rich traditions of folk and indigenous performing arts of India in collaboration with Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre and Northern Zonal Cultural Centre.
The scrolls reflect traditional forms of art as well as contemporary expressions, which showcase the essence of rich cultural and artistic heritage of India while also analyzing the absolute sacrifice and contribution of our unsung heroes proving to be a befitting tribute to Kalakumbh- Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav and a true celebration of Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat.
In the next phase, these scrolls will be placed artistically at Rajpath for the celebrations of Republic day, 2022. The strategic location of these scrolls would serve as an open gallery for all the citizens and it is intended to inspire people about the rich national heritage and legacy of Bharat in its true sense. The details of selected master artists of indigenous forms of arts who have been an essential part of the Kalakumbh- Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav at Bhubaneshwar and Punjab are attached as annexure – I and II respectively.
“The National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi has organised these workshops with the aim of amalgamating varied forms of visual and performing arts of the country to represent the true essence of unity and diversity in India. I believe that the gigantic scrolls when displayed at Rajpath will garner interest of each individual to delve deep into the history of the unsung heroes of India’s freedom struggle and would also draw attention towards the unified visual aspects of modern, indigenous and contemporary arts of India”, mentioned Shri Adwaita Garanayak, Director- General, NGMA.