Saturday, January 26, 2008

Azaadi Express Bangalore January 23 to 27 2008

Seeing the ads about Azaadi Express in Bangalore in leading news papers few days back, I had decided to go for the photo exhibition of the first war of independece in 1857 and freedom movement after that. This exhibition had been scheduled for 5 days, from January 23 to January 27, 2008 at cantonment railway station in Bangalore. I had missed the same train exhibition when I was in Mangalore few days back so did not want to miss this one in Bangalore. On Saturday, 26th January 2008, along with two of my cousins I headed for the cantonment railway station near Shivaji Nagar, being happy for the fact that I was there on Republic day for viewing our footsteps towards freedom. Sandeep joined us later at the venue. When we reached the railway station, it was 3 30 in the afternoon. Enthusiasm soon died when we saw the people standing in a very long queue to see the glimpse of the historic train. Public holiday on account of Republic day had a bigger role in drawing the crowds. Of course free entry for all too had its positive effect on that. To make things worse there was constant flow of people who would intrude into the long queue wherever possible, not even bothering about the people who had stood there for more than two hours. This is disgusting when the well educated intrude into the queue forgetting minimal ethics. With four of us standing in the queue time pass was never a problem or boring. We discussed a wide range of topics like physics, blogging, history and what not! The announcements came at regular intervals regarding the exhibition being open to general public only till 6 pm. It was already nearing 6 and we were not the ones who would give up and go back home after waiting for almost 2.5 hours. And when we finally got our chance and entered the train it was 6 in the evening. 12 coaches were filled with memories from the freedom struggle like quotes, photos, visual models, paper cuttings etc. With volunteers there asking everybody to move fast one could hardly grasp anything from our past. What is this; did we wait and waste our time just to walk fast in the train?? But we managed to take snaps of the material exhibited in some of the coaches. Frankly speaking it hardly mattered whether we entered all the coaches to have the glimpse since most of the coaches were decorated much in the same fashion as we used to do for school day celebrations for social science exhibitions!! Some of the coaches even had elementary models like irrigation pump and hydro electric power generations and in some other you would find Sania Mirza, MS Dhoni, Yuvaraj Singh and others trying to be the part of freedom struggle. For this Sandeep said it was because they had depicted nation building in the last 150 years. Then I thought more appropriate title should have been given to the photo exhibition. Some of the coaches had very good quotations, citations (like Macalay’s address to British Parliament on how to weaken India by disrupting the traditional education system here) and rare photographs(like handing over of power in 1947 and pictures from 1857) from history. Do spend your time in these. Photo highlights of the show were - pictures, maps from Ist war of Indian independence, Indian national flag over the years, Gandhian era, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's Azaad Hind Fauz or Indian National Army, The Hindustan Times reporting freedom in 1947, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru becoming the 1st prime minister, prominent scientists like CV Raman, way of progress in Agriculture, Green Revolution (by MS Swaminathan), White Revolution(by Verghese Kurien), Hydro electric projects, Non Alignment Movement, Missile technology, Space technology, Indian currency over the years, war pictures, different models of Electronic Voting machines, Music maestros, sports heros. Also there were some audio recordings like Pandit Nehru's address to the nation on August 15, 1947. In the final coach there were books for sale which were on 1857, freedom movement, gandhian etc and other topics. Sunday, 27 January 2008 is the last day in Bangalore for Azaadi Express. Sunday being a holiday will draw crowds to the venue. So plan well to reach the venue in the morning itself to have the glimpse of history. And if you are planning to stand in the queue for more than two hours in the evening then it is not worth it as if it is in the closing hours you will hardly able to glance over the pictures. In our case we stood for 2.5 hours in the queue and finished seeing the exhibition in just half an hour with closing time of the show being extended.


1 comment:

  1. good coverage ... I must agree with you, the exhibition was only good in patches. The amateurish presentation gave a feel of school exhibition. I also observed that it was politically biased. The story of Veer Savarkar and Andaman Cellular Jail were missing.



Related Posts with Thumbnails