In a welcome move, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has thrown open its museum, showcasing the social history of rural Punjab for film shootings, music videos, television interviews and exhibitions with an aim to promote the museum and inherent cultural ethos.
The initiative has received an overwhelming response from the local residents and many eminent personalities who have been suggesting the same for a long time now to boost the popularity of this museum. The museum was inaugurated by the celebrated writer, late Khushwant Singh on April 26, 1974 and is the brainchild of Mohinder Singh Randhawa, the second vice-chancellor of PAU who laid its foundation on March 1, 1971.
Noted Punjabi singer and actor Harbhajan Mann has been the first one to avail this opportunity and recently shot the video for one of his songs based on Punjabi cultural theme at the museum and the song is already a hit on different music channels.
“This is certainly not any ordinary museum for Punjab since it perfectly mirrors the rural life and culture of Punjab. That is why, for my song in which I intended to show Punjabi culture, this museum provided the exact ambience. It also takes you to the good old days and authentic village life,” said Mann during his visit here.
Another Punjabi singer-turned-actor Pammi Bai echoed, “It’s good to know that one can shoot here. This will make the museum more popular and attract tourism. I remember some years back when I wanted to shoot one of my songs, I was refused as the authorities did not allow any shootings here except general entry for the museum.”
Famous Punjabi poet Surjit Patar said, “Considering the value of this museum, it must be promoted as much as possible. Shooting films, music videos and exhibitions here will make the museum popular as many visitors, especially youngsters and tourists, might not be aware about this museum.”
Jagdish Kaur, additional director of communication, PAU, said, “We are happy to get our museum promoted in films and songs, but we have a procedure for that. Firstly, a written permission has to be taken from the director of extension education and the scenes shot here should not be vulgar or violent. If all goes well, a nominal fee is charged.”
Donations of traditional items welcomed
Since the museum is home to a large number of traditional items such as unique pottery, rare musical instruments like ‘tumbi’ and ‘chimta’, spinning wheels, colourful phulkaris, wedding dresses, old cupboards along with kitchen equipment such as ‘garma’, ‘thali’, ‘lota’, ‘bata’, wooden toys, wooden beds and a lot more, the authorities will welcome more such donations from the public.
“Rather than discarding traditional items and things from homes, one can donate them here since it will enrich the rare collection of the museum. Names of the donators will be labeled alongside the item displayed,” said GK Sangha, dean of PAU’s college of home science who also heads the responsibility of the museum.