January 10, 2015 4:07:09 am
The multimedia narrative at Dandi Kutir, or salt mound — on which Mahatma Gandhi’s life has been portrayed in the form of sculptures — describes him as a person who approved of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s activities.
Dandi Kutir, a 41-metre high conical mound with 90-metre diameter at the base, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday. The Gujarat government has claimed that it is the only state-of-the-art museum of its scale in the world dedicated to an individual. Modi, who had conceived the idea when he was the chief minister, however, was not impressed by some technical aspects in the multimedia narrative when he visited the museum, sources indicated.
The multimedia narrative has a detail on Gandhi’s visit to an RSS camp in Wardha in 1930. The bit was added on the advice of Sangh members, who were part of the content committee.
Content committee member Vishnu Pandya, columnist and former editor of RSS mouthpiece Sadhana, told The Indian Express this account was inserted in the narrative recently. The content committee does not have a single known “Gandhian” on board.
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The narrative describes how Gandhi along with Ghanshyamdas Birla visited the RSS camp and was “impressed by activities of the RSS and expressed wish to meet its founder”. However, RSS founder K B Hedgewar was not at the camp that day and according to the narrative, “Gandhi ji went back the next day to meet Hedgewar”.
Pandya said, “Creative committee members were called for final trial before the inauguration and on our suggestion the incident of Wardha RSS camp was included.”
Dandi Kutir, which is the second phase of the Mahatma Mandir project that traces facets of Gandhi’s life in three parts spread over three floors, was to be thrown open for the public soon after Modi inaugurated it. However, the plan was deferred.
Sources said that the audio tour was grossly mismatched with the visitors’ pace and the text during the tour reflected typographical errors.
A Mumbai firm Live Pixels was awarded the contract for multimedia inputs, while the structure was built by Shapoorji Pallonji Engineering and Construction. Shapoorji claimed it had built Dandi Kutir in only seven months. An email sent by The Indian Express to Live Pixel went unanswered.
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