Message of peace, truth and non-violence at the ‘Mahatma Gandhi: An Immigrant exhibition’

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By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 5 March: The world’s most famous immigrant, Mahatma Gandhi and India’s father of the nation today made history here at the Immigration Museum, Melbourne with his story in digital, interactive (you can take your photo with the Mahatma) and the man’s journey that finally confronted the Empire where the sun never set. The incredible spate of events in photos and multimedia portray the Mahatma’s segments of life in a format laced with technology.

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Welcomed by drinks and snacks the exhibition (2nd floor) curated by Bairad Rajaram Yajnik (from Hyderabad), opened its doors after lots of networking and an unusual drink ‘Alcohol Lassi’ including the routine stuff. The ground floor of the Museum was lit with sparkling lights amidst the ambiance of live Indian music by Vinod Pasanna & Jay Dabgar followed by speeches by Lynley Marshall, CEO, Museums Victoria, Rohini Kappadath, Manager Immigration Museum, Birad Rajaram Yajnik, Curator. Mahatma Gandhi Digital Museum and Emily Siddons, Exhibition producer, Museums Victoria.

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Before the speeches representatives from the Woi Wurrung and the Boonwurrung Foundation addressed those present and thanked them for their interest and presence at the exhibition opening.

The mingling crowd then moved to the 2nd floor and went around the exhibition with so many photos, a small printing machine (or press), colorful displays, huge portraits of Gandhi’s early life, letters and lots of interactive technology. One just has to see them join phases of Gandhi’s life.

Talking to SAT, exhibition Curator Birad Rajaram Yajnik said, “technology is just an enabler. The exhibition gives you the experience of Gandhi. With one of the exhibit, you can replicate yourself with a bioscope like Gandhi when he was 14 years old.

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The exhibition has a small printing press, newspaper, interactive wall, short films, one can travel to four different locations where Gandhi went. Finally, you can take a photograph with Gandhi.”

“I want people to take away three concepts from the exhibition, namely, peace, truth and ‘ahimsa’,” he said.

Challenging the myth that Gandhi was against technology Baird said,” Gandhi said modernisation and mechanisation can be a danger to jobs. But if Gandhi was here today he would have used modern technology. He would have used the internet. He was far ahead of his times.”

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