75 Objects of Independent India
Ar. Yagnik Bathija
Ar. Ronak Savla
Ar. Neha Panchal
‘Today will be history tomorrow, literally!’
In fact, that you read the previous line is already history now. We have popularly known history as stories of rulers, kings and queens, growth & spread of civilizations, invasions and wars. We know history like this, because someone wanted us to know it in this way. Did you know that history has alternative accounts? It depends on whose perspective you are narrating
What if you could rewrite history? What if you were bestowed with the investigative powers of the likes of Byomkesh Bakshi or Sherlock Holmes to minutely study, analyse and tell other stories of the time, that could not be told? History features in our everyday; from our religious rituals, to our sporadic political pow-wow, regional food culture, recurring festivals to also matter of the big bucks! We cannot negate the events of our past that have shaped our present and will inform our future. Over the years, many narratives of India have been told. Historic chronicles, written by scholars commissioned by the ones in power have become commonplace in our academia and daily life. Their accounts, often biased, glorify the powerful and omit tales of others, thereby only offering a myopic (limited) insight in the stories of our people.
As the African saying goes, “Until the lions have their own story-teller, history will always glorify the hunter”, typically historical narratives have been interpretations of events in time. Events hold a temporal (temporary) value and its portrayal depends largely on the recounting capacity of the narrators and their predisposition (inclination). On the other hand, tangible (physical) components that are part of events such as built forms and objects enable a researcher to create an objective inquiry into its being and attempt to write an unbiased story of the time. Imagine these objects to be a portkey, once you touch it, it will carry you into its own fascinating world.
In this studio we carried forward the learnings from ‘Objects Mumbai’ where we developed a comprehensive investigative method of inquiry that led to study an object’s evolution, material, design, imagery, impact, and relevance on everyday life and its role in the narrative of the city. As the nation celebrates its 75th year of independence we attempted to trace its sovereign identity by delving into parallel stories through the study of objects. 75 Objects of Independent India attempted to chart a path away from popular discourses framed by Anglo-European hegemony and create alternative narratives of Independent India.The study will culminate into an exhibition in the year 2022 to commemorate completion of 75 years of Independence.