President Mukherjee completes four years in office

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President of India - Pranab Mukherjee
President of India - Pranab Mukherjee

President Mukherjee completes four years in office

The President of India, Shri Mukherjee completed four years in office today (July 25, 2016).

A series of events were organized to mark the occasion.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Phase-II of the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum this evening (July 25, 2016) in the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and other dignitaries. Phase –II will open for public viewing from October 2, 2016.

Three portfolios of paintings in Rashtrapati Bhavan published by the Lalit Kala Akademi and five new books on Rashtrapati Bhavan published by the Publications Division were released. The books are “Around India’s First Table: Dining and Entertaining at Rashtrapati Bhavan”, “The Arts and Interiors of Rashtrapati Bhavan: Lutyens and Beyond”, “Discover the Magnificent World of Rashtrapati Bhavan”, “A Work of Beauty: The Architecture and Landscape of Rashtrapati Bhavan” and “First Garden of the Republic: Nature in the President’s Estate”. The portfolios titled “Paintings in the Ashoka Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan”, “Company Paintings in Rashtrapati Bhavan” and “Select Paintings of Rashtrapati Bhavan” can be purchased from the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi. The five books are available in outlets of Publications Division, Government of India.

The President launched a micro-site on the Rashtrapati Bhavan website which will contain information on Rashtrapati Bhavan as a tourist destination and its three new tourist circuits namely, the Rashtrapati Bhavan main building, museums and the gardens. He also flagged off a Hop on – Hop off tourist bus.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said he had spent 43 years of his life within stone’s throw of Rashtrapati Bhavan but his knowledge of life inside Rashtrapati Bhavan was limited. Therefore, the first decision he took on assuming Presidency was that people must know about life in Rashtrapati Bhavan. He was happy to say that on conclusion of four years he had been able to open the doors of Rashtrapati Bhavan to the common people.

The President said history has to be told and narrated. Rashtrapati Bhavan had been a mute witness to the evolution of history in the modern period and of the time when the largest functional democracy of the world started operating. Since that time, Indian democracy has moved from strength to strength. He invited all dignitaries present on the occasion to find time to see the newly inaugurated museum in detail and admire the magnificent creation.

The Phase-II Museum, spread over 10,000 square meters, is a hi-technology story-telling museum. The museum depicts the story of the planning and construction of Rashtrapati Bhavan; the British Viceroys who occupied the building till 1947; their reaction towards the tumultuous freedom movement in the country; the transfer of power; the formation of the Republic; the life and work of 13 Presidents of India since 1950; life in Rashtrapati Bhavan; the beauty and environment of the campus, the people working here and important visitors, etc. The museum will also have an Art Gallery for holding temporary exhibitions.

The Phase-II Museum has been developed at the site of a heritage building, where the Garage for Rashtrapati Bhavan vehicles was earlier located. Phase –I of the Museum, developed in the erstwhile stables of Rashtrapati Bhavan which used to house horses and ceremonial coaches, opened on July 25, 2014. The inauguration of Phase-II of the Museum completes the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum Complex, which comprises the Stables Museum (Phase –I), the Garages Museum (Phase –II) and the Clock Tower, which will be home to the Visitors Reception Centre, Cafeteria and Souvenir shop.

Background:

“A Work of Beauty: The Architecture and Landscape of Rashtrapati Bhavan” is a exhaustive volume which documents the entire landscape around and architecture of the Rashtrapati Bhavan estate, starting from its construction as Government House, after the capital of British India shifted from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911. The book describes how the Rashtrapati Bhavan became a part of the narrative of international architecture and town-planning, which entered a new phase at the beginning of the 20th century. It explores the designing of the Viceroy’s House and how it marked a crucial moment in the balance between Indian and British builders, an issue touching the question of style and substance, as well as of the relation between western and indigenous skills.

“First Garden of the Republic: Nature in the President’s Estate” documents the flora and fauna of the President’s Estate across the seasons. It shows how human agency creates and curates this habitat. This book explores how plants and animals make the President’s Estate their own, adapting it to their ends, and the challenges these living creatures and their habitats face today.

“Around India’s First Table: Dining and Entertaining at Rashtrapati Bhavan” traces the history of dining and entertaining at Rashtrapati Bhavan from the days when the British viceroys served French food in the stately dining room, through the early years of the republic, and the gradual replacement from Western to Indian cuisine. The reader is taken behind the scenes to follow the careful preparations which make India’s first table a site for successful gastronomic diplomacy.

“The Arts and Interiors of Rashtrapati Bhavan: Lutyens and Beyond” extensively documents and catalogues the various artworks on display in the lush interiors of the vast Rashtrapati Bhavan estate. It includes vivid descriptions about the history and stylistic features of the furniture, paintings. It also covers interesting information about textiles, murals, and carpets that adorn the estate. Illustrated with pictures of artworks, reproductions of plans and rare archival documents, the reader gets an entry into the magnificent world and is made familiar with the general interior design of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

“Discover the Magnificent World of Rashtrapati Bhavan”, a short children’s book, aims to acquaint children with the fascinating story of the Rashtrapati Bhavan – how it was built, the events it has witnessed and the role that it plays in the life of the nation and the people who live and work there. Through interesting stories, fascinating facts and descriptive chapters, this book takes children into the vast estate of magnificent Rashtrapati Bhavan and gives them a glimpse of life there.