Saturday, February 8, 2014

Gandhi Films Exhibition Centre - News Reports

Friends here are the News Reports prior to and on the day of Inauguration of the Gandhi Films Exhibition Centre, Mani Bhavan, Mumbai.  


By Reema Gehi, Mumbai Mirror | Jan 29, 2014, 12.31 AM IST

Collect. Create. Share. Using these three axioms, corporate lawyer Nitin Potdar, who was appointed the chairperson of the Gandhi Films Foundation last month, puts the entire foundations' work in context. 

Several film footage tracing important events from Mahatma Gandhi's life was collected from world over at the behest of his youngest son Devdas Gandhi, back in the 1950s. They were restored and preserved by the foundation. 

However, Potdar felt that the public, particularly foreign tourists and students, needed to get access to them. He reckons, "If Gandhiji's teachings were important preindependence, it's even more relevant in our times, where we've become a nation of mistrust, violence and deeply influenced by western culture. These films are a medium of Gandhi's teachings." 

So, along with the films, produced and created by the foundation - Abhishap (based on the curse of untouchability), Badsha Khan (Life story of Sarahad Gandhi), Miracle Of Non-Violence (a film on the surrender of dacoits of Chambal Valley and Karenge-Ya-Marenge (a film on the Quit India movement) - the public will have access to video clippings of important events from Gandhi's life. 

"Many historical events of our country's freedom movement were recorded live by news agencies. These clippings are in this collection and are being preserved scientifically so that generations can study them and understand history," shares Subhash Jayakar, the 77-year-old director of the Gandhi Films Foundation. "All these years, they were provided to filmmakers who were making documentaries on Gandhiji's life, to students for research, or news channels such as Doordarshan Prasar Bharati, BBC London, which wanted to run some of the stock footage for their stories." 

The idea of having an exhibition centre for these films and video footage at a 300-square-feet room that can accommodate 25 inside the Mani Bhavan campus took germ last week. "We decided to open it up to the public on January 30 (Gandhi's death anniversary)," informs Potdar. "Since then, the committee has been working against time, making sure they meet today's deadline." 

The Governor of Maharashtra K Sankaranarayanan, along with Dr Jabbar Patel and Kumar Ketkar as special invitees, will inaugurate the Gandhi Films Exhibition Centre this evening.   After Gandhi's demise, Indian National leaders - Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Dadasaheb Mavalankar and 20 other members - founded the Gandhi National Memorial Fund in Delhi under the Deed of Declaration of Trust in 1949. 

"They established 48 institutions all over the country to create living memorials of Gandhiji in the form of institutions in the fields that the Mahatma took interest," informs Potdar. "The Gandhi Films Committee happened to be one of those institutions. They were entrusted the responsibility of acquiring photographs, film material on Gandhi from all over the world, and placing it under one roof for posterity. But we strongly feel that the time has come when we need to share them."




Pratishtha Bhavan, Maharshi Karve Rd, Marine Lines, Mumbai. 
Tel: 022-2206 9413 / Fax 2206 2989 

Mumbai : January 30, 2014 

Documenting Mahatma’s Life Mahatma Gandhi Exhibition Centre inaugurated in Mumbai 

Even as the nation paid its homage to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi on his 66th death 
anniversary on January 30, visitors to the famed Mani Bhavan in Mumbai got an opportunity to watch Some rare film clips relating to the life and times of Mahatma Gandhi. 

“People of the world are increasingly realising the importance and significance of Mahatma Gandhi and his doctrine of truth, non-violence and Satyagraha,  It is the time to acquaint the new generation with Mahatma Gandhi’s thoughts and views in a format they will assimilate and appreciate” said Governor of Maharashtra, K Sankaranarayanan, while inaugurating the newly established Mahatma Gandhi  Exhibition Centre, that will be used for screening short film and documentaries on Gandhiji 

When Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was assassinated 66 years ago, the nation mourned  while leaders across the world paid their tribute to the Mahatma at a United Nation’s meeting. Black and White videos featuring these events and several other episodes of the Mahatma’s life will now be accessible to the public, who can visit the state-of-the-art, 25-seater audio-visual room any time between 10am to 5pm. 

Nitin Potdar, Chairman of the Gandhi Film Foundation, which started the centre, says “the film exhibition centre is the first of its kind. It will display automatic videographic content pertaining to Mahatma Gandhi, which will help people get insight into the significant event of his life, including India’s independence, the salt Satyagraha and even his meeting with Mohammad Ali Jinnah.”   The foundation has collected hundred of shorts and videos on Gandhi from across the world. The shorts and videos have been compiled into six films, which can be viewed at the centre. 

The foundation has received video clippings from varied sources such as news agencies, government bodies and independent organisations, all of which have been converted into digital format. Birla Group has provided the footage of Mahatma Gandhi’s voyage to England to attend the Second Round Table Conference in London. 

All these years, footages relating to Gandhiji’s life were made available to students for research, or news channels such as Doordarshan, BBC etc, which wanted to run some of the stock footage for their stories. Potdar felt that whatever was made available to researchers and other specified groups should be made available to public as well. “So we decided to open up this Exhibition Centre for public on January 30” he added. 
In addition to the films related to Gandhiji, films produced by Gandhi Film Foundation : Abhishaap, based on the curse of untouchability, Badshah Khan, the life story of Frontier Gandhi Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Miracle of Non-violence, a film on surrender of dacoits of Chambal Valley and Karenge Ya Marenge, a film on the Quit India Movement, have also been made available for viewing. 

Never mind its small size, the new facility is going to add value to already enriching experience of visiting Mani Bhavan, located in Gamdevi area of South Mumbai. This was the place where Mahatma Gandhi stayed, whenever he visited Mumbai, which he did quite frequently. It was from Mani Bhavan that Gandhiji initiated the Non-cooperation movement, Swadeshi movement among others. His association with Charkha – the spinning wheel began in 1917, while he was staying here. The Gowalia Tank (now called August Kranti Maidan), from where Gandhiji started the Quit India Movement, is located just 100 metres away from Mani Bhavan. 

Mani Bhavan is one of the major tourist attractions in Mumbai.  Ironically, it is the foreign tourists who take keener interest in visiting the Gandhi Smarak Bhavan than the domestic tourists. 

Visit to Mani Bhavan was high on the agenda of US President Barack Obama, when he visited India in 2010.     His note in the visitor book sums up the relevance of Gandhiji to the world.   Obama wrote 

I am filled with hope and inspiration as I have the privilege to view this testament to Gandhi’s life. He is a hero not just to India, but to the world.


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