President Pranab Mukherjee completes four years in office
A series of events were organized to mark the occasion.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Phase-II of the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum this evening (July 25, 2016) in the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and other dignitaries. Phase –II will open for public viewing from October 2, 2016.
Three portfolios of paintings in Rashtrapati Bhavan published by the Lalit Kala Akademi and five new books on Rashtrapati Bhavan published by the Publications Division were released. The books are “Around India’s First Table: Dining and Entertaining at Rashtrapati Bhavan”, “The Arts and Interiors of Rashtrapati Bhavan: Lutyens and Beyond”, “Discover the Magnificent World of Rashtrapati Bhavan”, “A Work of Beauty: The Architecture and Landscape of Rashtrapati Bhavan” and “First Garden of the Republic: Nature in the President’s Estate”. The portfolios titled “Paintings in the Ashoka Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan”, “Company Paintings in Rashtrapati Bhavan” and “Select Paintings of Rashtrapati Bhavan” can be purchased from the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi. The five books are available in outlets of Publications Division, Government of India.
The President launched a micro-site on the Rashtrapati Bhavan website which will contain information on Rashtrapati Bhavan as a tourist destination and its three new tourist circuits namely, the Rashtrapati Bhavan main building, museums and the gardens. He also flagged off a Hop on – Hop off tourist bus.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said he had spent 43 years of his life within stone’s throw of Rashtrapati Bhavan but his knowledge of life inside Rashtrapati Bhavan was limited. Therefore, the first decision he took on assuming Presidency was that people must know about life in Rashtrapati Bhavan. He was happy to say that on conclusion of four years he had been able to open the doors of Rashtrapati Bhavan to the common people.
The President said history has to be told and narrated. Rashtrapati Bhavan had been a mute witness to the evolution of history in the modern period and of the time when the largest functional democracy of the world started operating. Since that time, Indian democracy has moved from strength to strength. He invited all dignitaries present on the occasion to find time to see the newly inaugurated museum in detail and admire the magnificent creation.
The Phase-II Museum, spread over 10,000 square meters, is a hi-technology story-telling museum. The museum depicts the story of the planning and construction of Rashtrapati Bhavan; the British Viceroys who occupied the building till 1947; their reaction towards the tumultuous freedom movement in the country; the transfer of power; the formation of the Republic; the life and work of 13 Presidents of India since 1950; life in Rashtrapati Bhavan; the beauty and environment of the campus, the people working here and important visitors, etc. The museum will also have an Art Gallery for holding temporary exhibitions.
The Phase-II Museum has been developed at the site of a heritage building, where the Garage for Rashtrapati Bhavan vehicles was earlier located. Phase –I of the Museum, developed in the erstwhile stables of Rashtrapati Bhavan which used to house horses and ceremonial coaches, opened on July 25, 2014. The inauguration of Phase-II of the Museum completes the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum Complex, which comprises the Stables Museum (Phase –I), the Garages Museum (Phase –II) and the Clock Tower, which will be home to the Visitors Reception Centre, Cafeteria and Souvenir shop.