From the Indus Valley civilisation (2600–1600 BCE), and the Mauryan (c. 322 and 185 BCE) and Gupta (320 AD) empires, to the Mughal invasions between 1526 and 1857, and the British Raj, Indian history is complex and globally intertwined.
Yet, the debate over what precisely constitutes Indian culture rages in popular and social media. To address the global influences on the Indian subcontinent, an exhibition at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sanghralaya (CSMVS), Mumbai will feature artefacts that look back on the construction of culture in India.
The exhibition is in collaboration with the National Museum, New Delhi, and The British Museum, London. And between the three museums, and additional museums from across India, nearly 200,000 artefacts will be put on display to showcase India’s history over the last 5,000 years. The exhibition, India and the World: A History in Nine Stories, will open in November 2017.
The artefacts include one of the earliest hand axes found in Africa which speaks of the shared beginnings of the human race. The contemporary artefacts include the Throne of Weapons, a chair made from guns (think the real world version of the Iron Thrones from Game of Thrones) that comments on war, but is actually a symbol of the use of power to attain peace.
“The proposed exhibition is inspired by A History of the World in 100 objects, curated by art historian Neil MacGregor at the British Museum. The Indian version of it will select nine important moments in India’s history to explore what was happening across the globe at the same time. The exhibition is a portal through which the visitor will travel outward to the rest of the world,” says Sabyasachi Mukherjee, director general, CSMVS.
Watch out: India and the World: A History in Nine Stories will open at CSMVS in November 2017. After a three-month display in Mumbai, the exhibition will open in Delhi in March 2018.