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?Bring museums out of colonial format?

india Updated: Dec 11, 2006 17:23 IST
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THE MUSEUMS would have to be brought out of the fixed formats given to them during the colonial era so that they could better display the indiscernible contribution of women to the formation and conservation of human history and cultural heritage, chairman of the advisory committee of the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS) Dr K K Chakravarty said on Sunday.

He was speaking at the inaugural function of the two-day symposium on ‘gender and museum’ organised as part of the programme ‘Shaswati’ based on women and cultural heritage, being held at the IGRMS. Dr Chakravarty, who is also the secretary to the Government of India, said museums are intricate part of the society and thus they would have to play an important part in society building.

Delivering the keynote address, Prof Subhadra Mishra Chanana of the Anthropology Department o the Delhi University said  women have their own basic thought process, values and viewpoints using which they interact with the environment around them, but this aspect is always ignored in research work. 

She said that owing to the patriarchal system of the society, the work done by men has always been depicted and displayed in museums although pre-history and history are witness to fact that women played very important role in development of society and culture. She said that women in every generation are changing and to showcase this continuing change, it is important that the museums truthfully incorporate and display women’s contribution.

The welcome address was delivered by director of the IGRMS K K Basa who highlighted the objective of the symposium as an effort to incorporate the yet intangible contribution of women in cultural heritage. Convener of workshop Dr Sudipa Roy proposed vote of thanks.

Among other speakers who presented papers at technical sessions, included Prof Salina Mehta from Chandigarh, Dr Vijaylakshmi of Bangalore, Dr Yashodhara Mishra of Delhi and Prof N Lahiri also of Delhi who spoke about the contribution of last woman ruler of Bhopal. About 20 expert women are participating in the symposium.

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