On 14 April 2022, PM Narendra Modi unveiled the PM Museum for the masses ushering in an era of a new kind of immersive historical spectacle.
The PM Museum or the Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya, designed by the Gurgaon-based tech company called Tagbin, is a state-of-the-art display of the achievements of the Indian Prime Ministers over the last 75 years. On 14 April 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the museum for the masses ushering in an era of a new kind of immersive historical spectacle. The museum offers visitors a variety of fascinating features that allows one to connect with the country’s past and explore the legacy of our prime ministers and the journey of India after Independence in an engaging, interactive, and immersive setting.
While this isn’t Tagbin’s first tryst with immersive technology-based museums, it is definitely one of its most ambitious projects. The company has pioneered a new standard for holographic displays in the country. “This project was planned in 2016 and it was PM Narendra Modi’s idea. He had visited the American Presidents Museum and he wanted to come up with something in India wherein we could honor the legacy of the different Indian prime ministers since independence,” explains Saurav Bhaik, Tagbin’s CEO and Design & Technology Consultant of the Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya. He adds, “An Executive Council was formed headed by the former Principal Secretary to PM Modi, Nripendra Misra. So, basically, he has been the driving force behind it along with the likes of Dr. A. Surya Prakash, M. J. Akbar, Prasun Joshi, Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, and Dr. Sachidanand Joshi.”
The museum walk-through allows the visitor to take a walk down the history lane starting with the independence, learning about the growth of the Indian economy and agriculture during the British Raj. The multilingual audio guide helps the visitor understand every exhibit in their preferred language. “Although the theme is PM Museum, the underlying idea is capture the journey of India since independence so that everyone can relate to it. So basically we start at where India was in 1947 and then the Indian Constitution came into being,” Bhaik adds further.
Next, we move to the room which is dedicated to the India’s Constituent Assembly and the story of the challenges they faced while drafting the Constitution of India. This is immediately followed by an opportunity to get a deeper understanding of how the Indian Constitution was created and the interesting debates that took place among the members of the Constituent Assembly. The next room presents a larger-than-life art installation of the Constitution of India which takes centre stage while one immerses oneself in the events that led to India becoming a Republic. Next, we come to terms with the functioning of the Indian legislature, understanding the foundations of the political democracy of India. This is followed by an overview of the Constitutional Amendments which offer a deeper understanding of how Indian democracy works at the grassroots level.
The Nehru Gallery presents a holistic view of a newly Independent India and the political developments that followed. It talks about the reorganisations of states, the Kashmir War 1947-48, what Pandit Nehru called ‘temples’ of modern India, the first general elections, among others. In the Study Area, we get to witness the portraits of the members of the Nehru family as well as other eminent leaders like Rabindranath Tagore and Abdul Ghaffar Khan. A video touching upon the demise of Pandit Nehru is also available along with related images and newspaper articles. Also, we can watch Pandit Nehru deliver the inspiring ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech on the eve of India’s Independence. The Toshakhana Zone allows us to revel in a grand display of 150+ memorabilia and artifacts gifted by dignitaries and the heads of states from across the globe to Indian Prime Ministers.
At the Reception and Corridor of Block 2, we are greeted by the levitating 3D-printed National Emblem and the Kinetic Lights which immerses the onlooker in a kaleidoscope of patterns of the marvelous Indian Tricolor. These installations denote the freedom, growth and prosperity of our nation. ‘Parichay’ prepares us for the tour of Block 2, offering a summary of all the prime ministers’ careers as you begin you tour. ‘Freedom and Unity’ tells the story of the freedom struggle led by Mahatma Gandhi and the integration of the states achieved by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. ‘Time Machine’ takes us back in time and relive the past. Here we can watch India change and transform before our eyes.
‘Anubhuti’ is a major attraction with its various avenues for engagement. “Through augmented reality, visitors can take photographs with their favourite prime minister, or be a part of a virtual human chain, or take a walk with one of the prime ministers, or write their feedback. Also, a robotic display will also give them a handwritten note from one of India’s former prime ministers. And the last exhibit is the one where after going through the 75 years of journey people can see what is in store for them in the future i.e. how India will be in 2047,” reveals Bhaik.
‘Lal Qile Ki Prachir Se’ offers the memorable speeches given by the prime ministers over the years at the Red Fort as we move on to the individual memorial spaces dedicated to the past prime ministers viz. Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri, Shri Gulzarilal Nanda, Smt. Indira Gandhi, Shri Morarji Desai, Chaudhary Charan Singh, Shri Rajiv Gandhi, Shri V.P. Singh, Shri Chandra Shekhar, Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao, Shri H. D. Deve Gowda, Shri Inder Kumar Gujral, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and Dr. Manmohan Singh. “The museum takes us through the 75 years of development journey through the eyes of different prime ministers. Because every prime minister was there for some term and so if you see the way the content in planned you will notice that it captures the idea that every prime minister went through some challenges and they have their own achievements. So that is what we have highlighted and where we have reached right now,” sums up Bhaik.