Gurusady Museum visit

Is it murder? Is it punishable?

I am depressed, sad really along with the other members of the group, Mukul, Sangeeta, Rajiv, Sumita who went on a journey to witness the “killing fields”. We have just returned from two sites which could have been a wonder destination in Kolkata but is just there. Cant say actually living. It is a testimony of our wonderful past that was alive and maybe perfect. No longer. Today it is derelict, rundown, pathetic.

Gurusaday Museum started in memory of Gurusaday Dutt the founder of the Bratachari movement is threatened. It may shut down because the Ministry of Textiles is stopping all grants. The art, I would say is as precious if not more than the Renaissance Masters, who are valued in multiple zeroes. On display is only 20% of the actual collection of this man who diligently procured Kanthas, Dokra, terracotta among other local artefacts. The Kanthas are masterpieces in their own right. The artist unsung, will remain a cipher but the work left behind is fine, intricate, unbelievable, rare. A story of the Nawabs, the zamindars, the inside and outside of homes are skilfully adapted on cloth in a visual splendour of colour painstakingly done with needle and thread. A rare canvas, like our Jamewaars is the same on the front and back. A virtual mirror image. One felt like crying with exhileration and joy at the mastery, excellence and beauty.

As one felt like crying in remorse at the derelict premises and maintenance.Spread over 5 bighas this place is decadent. Mr Bijon Mondal, Curator since 1996 has bravely held fort, despite his bureaucratic attitude he has tried to do the best he can with the resources and expertise at his disposal. Should we stand by and see this rare testimony of the past literally destroyed. I would say it is murder! Just one description, has the picture attached with some others. A mere tiny  fraction of the original.

The next stop was The Archealogical Survey of India. A beautiful old edifice of the Roy family gifted to the Government to house their archealogical finds. Dusty, rusted iron cupboards, valuable stone work -  Buddha , Shiv , Krishna, murals in wood, stone just lying about. The Heritage Commission Offices with shiny brass name plates and air-conditioned interiors on the contrary carried a facade of efficient activity. Were the doing their job with commitment and sincerity. Were they doing justice to the jobs they were assigned to do?

As citizens we need to protect and preserve our  glorious past. Certainly unique as no one thereafter has been able to replicate even a fraction of the same. Should we let go. It is practical. But is it wise? History does stand the test of time it does often repeat it self. It is a reminder of our identity. Should we allow it to be crushed so mercilessly.

In the not too distant future, I see highrises, robots, machines, automation, gaunt people looking all the same with no real identity just a number in the system. Do we want to become a number, slave to the strongest technological giant. Unable to think, process, admire poetry, beauty!

No I don’t want to.! All those in agreement lets speak in unison against this blatant neglect, callousness. I choose life, preservation, protection.

What about you?

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