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Zayed-Gandhi museum may travel to three emirates

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas dates changed to coincide with Kumbh Mela

Image Credit: Sajila Saseendran/Gulf News
Navdeep Singh Suri (right) and Sumathi Vasudev address a press conference at the Indian Consulate in Dubai.
Gulf News

Dubai: The Zayed-Gandhi digital museum set to come up later this year is likely to become a travelling museum with stops in at least three emirates, Indian Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference at the Indian Consulate in Dubai, Suri said both the UAE and Indian authorities are working on the establishment of the digital museum that will celebrate the legacy of the UAE’s founding father, Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and India’s father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi.

Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced the first-of-its-kind UAE-India exhibition in Abu Dhabi during the recent India visit of Shaikh Abdullah.

The initiative allows people to gain an insight into the lives and legacies of the exceptional leaders, commemorating the 100th birth anniversary of Shaikh Zayed and 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Suri said discussions are on to make the digital museum a mobile exhibition that can at least travel to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah over a period of next one year depending on the budget available.

He said the museum would be curated by Birad Rajaram Yajnik, who curated a Mahatma Gandhi Digital Museum in the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi in 2016. The museum has since been exhibited in various countries.

“Here, we have given him the additional challenge that in the same format in which he has done the Gandhi digital museum, he should also bring in content about Shaikh Zayed and do it in a way that it is harmonious together and builds upon key elements of both the leaders.”

The interactive content will showcase rare photos, videos and objects representing the lives, works and philosophies of both leaders using cutting-edge technologies.

The envoy said he visited Noora Mohammad Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, on Monday to strengthen cultural cooperation between the two countries.

He said discussions were also held to establish the museum towards the end of the year.

Know India quiz

The press conference was held to announce the details of the Bharat Ko Janiye (Know India) Quiz.

Suri said the Indian government targets to receive 100,000 participants for the quiz that is aimed at connecting the younger generations of overseas Indians with their motherland.

A 15-day trip to India await the top 10 winners of various categories of the quiz during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), the Non-Resident Indian Day which is usually held from January 7 to 9 marking the anniversary of the homecoming of Gandhi as an expat from South Africa.

However, Suri said the next PBD will be held at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh from January 21 to 23 next year.

He said the dates have been changed so that the Indian diaspora will have the option to participate in Kumbh Mela, the largest religious congregation of Hindu believers.

The winners of the global quiz will also be visiting Kumbh Mela along with other heritage areas in India.

Sumathi Vasudev, acting Consul-General of India in Dubai, said the registration is open up to September 15 for the second edition of Bharat Ko Janiye quiz.

Apart from Non-Resident Indians, Persons of Indian Origin and Overseas Citizens of India, this year a segment has opened for foreign citizens also to take part in the quiz, said Sanjeev Kumar, vice-consul for Press Information and Culture.

The first phase, which is online, will take place between September 16 and 30 and the second phase will be held in India.

Participants should be aged between 15 and 35 years. They can register on the website www:bharatkojaniye.in

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