Exhibition to Showcase Chhatrapati Shivaji’s Valour, Courage and Naval Legacy: Shri Govind Mohan Culture Secretary

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Shri Deepak Gore , Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi, Shri Govind Mohan , Dr. Sanjeev Kishor Gautam
Shri Deepak Gore , Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi, Shri Govind Mohan , Dr. Sanjeev Kishor Gautam
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Exhibition to Showcase Chhatrapati Shivaji’s Valour, Courage and Naval Legacy: Shri Govind Mohan Culture Secretary

6th June , New Delhi: : On the occasion of the 350th  anniversary of the coronation of the great Indian Icon Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) organized an exhibition titled ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.’ The exhibition was inaugurated by Shri Govind Mohan (IAS), Secretary, Ministry of Culture and Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA. Dr. Sanjeev Kishor Gautam, Director General of NGMA, Shri Deepak Gore and Shri Gautam Chougule was present during the inaugural of the exhibition. Besides those high officials of the Navy and Shri Sanjeev Sanyal member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India and Prof. Richa Kamboj of Kaladarshana Division, IGNCA was also present at the event. This exhibition will run until 21st June at NGMA, Jaipur House.

In India’s history, there were many foreign invasions via sea routes. Shivaji Maharaj’s establishment of a formidable navy demonstrates his foresight and strategic acumen. He is rightly hailed as the ‘Father of the Indian Navy.’ The paintings featured in the exhibition eloquently highlight the multifaceted vision of Shivaji Maharaj. This exhibition is the tangible result of the relentless 16-year-long endeavours of Shri Deepak Gore, the artist Shrikant Chaugule, and his son Gautam Chaugule.

In his address, Shri Govind Mohan highlighted that the works on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj were curated and exhibited at the Sindhudurg Naval Base. The Prime Minister mentioned this collection at the India Art, Architecture and Design Biennale 2023, speaking of it in glowing terms. Shri Govind Mohan further elaborated, “We reached out to Shri Deepak Gore and, with the assistance of Dr. Joshi, successfully established contact with him. Following the Prime Minister’s implicit directive to create space for this exhibition in the National Capital, it is now being showcased here. The whole idea has fructified and gone beyond that.” He continued, stating that on behalf of the Ministry of Culture, this collection would be handed over to the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA). He emphasised its national relevance, equating it to a national treasure and heritage. The possibility of a permanent exhibition of these works, as well as a mobile exhibition, is also being considered. He remarked that, whether by design or by accident, the history of great icons like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj has been erased from public consciousness. Exhibitions like this will enlighten the present generation about Chhatrapati Shivaji’s valour, courage, and his substantial role in the nation’s maritime history. This endeavour is also part of a relentless pursuit to eradicate the vestiges of colonial history and symbols from our collective memory. He also discussed the ships of Shivaji Maharaj and the technical advancements related to shipbuilding, particularly in the stitching of ships.

Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi highlighted the historical significance of June 6th, emphasizing its importance. He expressed IGNCA’s pride in collaborating with NGMA to curate an exhibition featuring 115 paintings portraying the life of the esteemed patriot, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. This remarkable collection celebrates Shivaji’s monumental contributions to national security and sovereignty. Dr. Joshi stressed the significance of hosting this exhibition in Delhi, aiming to educate those familiar with Shivaji’s name but unaware of his history and deeds. These exceptional paintings, with their profound national significance, depict various aspects of Shivaji Maharaj’s life, including his coronation, philosophy, and the expansion of Swaraj. They vividly highlight Shivaji’s bravery and the pivotal role he played in shaping history. Dr. Joshi also emphasized how history seamlessly intertwines with art, concept, and imagination. This exhibition serves as a platform to portray Shivaji Maharaj’s courage and valour, offering a glimpse into his enduring legacy. Furthermore, it embodies a noble vision of public welfare and stands as a symbol of inclusivity and unwavering determination.

Dr. Sanjeev Kishore Gautam stated that starting the exhibition on June 6th is appropriate, as this date has deeply marked its significance in the pages of our nation’s history. The paintings showcased in the exhibition primarily focus on those joyous and celebratory events associated with the grand coronation. Many paintings also shed light on some significant events from Shivaji Maharaj’s life, illustrating his compassion and social justice along with his strong leadership and military strategy as an administrator and military tactician.

These paintings are from the collection of Shri Deepak Gore, who, under the guidance of renowned historian and Chhatrapati Shivaji’s specialist Padma Vibhushan Babasaheb Purandare, conducted extensive research and fieldwork on this subject before creating these paintings with Shrikanth Chougule and Gautam Chougule. Shri Deepak Gore also took responsibility for the concept, direction and production of this exhibition. In this exhibition, the outstanding military, commercial, cultural, naval, social, and administrative policies related to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s vision are depicted through 115 paintings. It also includes portrait paintings of his contemporaries and adversaries. Deepak Gore stated that they attempted to narrate the glorious history of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj through painting. This exhibition was curated with the aim of inspiring children, youth, entrepreneurs, administrators, and leaders. He also mentioned that he received guidance from Padma Vibhushan Shri Babasaheb Purandare in this important endeavor. Subsequently, artist and architect Jahangir Wazifdar and his son Firoz Wazifdar provided support. Success in this endeavour would not have been possible without their contributions. Deepak Gore’s wife, Mrs. Neelam Gore, also provided constant support in this work. Deputy Curator Sushmit Sharma extended a formal vote of thanks to all who made this exhibition possible including Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.

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Editor Desk

Antara Tripathy M.Sc., B.Ed. by qualification and bring 15 years of media reporting experience.. Coverred many illustarted events like, G20, ICC,MCCI,British High Commission, Bangladesh etc. She took over from the founder Editor of IBG NEWS Suman Munshi (15/Mar/2012- 09/Aug/2018 and October 2020 to 13 June 2023).
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