All the people who were given a free country and were privileged enough not to have fought for their freedom might consider themselves as lucky but they don’t realize what they have missed. They have missed the pious opportunity of being under the leadership of one of the greatest leaders of India, Mahatma Gandhi who was also called the father of India’s freedom struggle. Life has given all those unfortunate people a second chance to relive the aura which Gandhi created with his presence by visiting The National Gandhi Museum or Gandhi Memorial Museum. This museum located in the heart of India i.e. New Delhi throws light on the entire life time of Gandhiji and his principles. The museum was initially opened in Mumbai and then faced several relocations, and was finally established at Raj Ghat, New Delhi in 1961. It was inaugurated shortly after Gandhi’s assassination in 1948.
The groundwork for the establishment of the museum started immediately after his assassination when the collectors started searching and gathering for things of importance to Mahatma Gandhi. The initial items which were taken to the museum were his personal items, newspapers and books related to Gandhi and were originally stored in Mumbai. However, in 1951 the items were relocated to a building near the Kota house in New Delhi. Again in 1957 the items were stored in big mansion.
Finally, once again for the last time the items underwent relocation when they found the most suitable place for them near Gandhiji’s Samadhi at Raj Ghat at New Delhi. The items were then opened for the visitors in 1961 on the occasion of the 13th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination; it was the time when Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the President of India.
The library at the Gandhi Museum serves the dual purpose of enriching ones knowledge about Gandhiji’s work and permits one to do general studies as well. The book section is divided into two, one boasting the books written by or about Gandhi and the other which caters to other subject matters. At present there is a wide collection of 35000 books or documents and also 2000 journals available in both English and Hindi languages, illuminating the life Gandhi that are stored at the museum. In addition to books it also stores a large number of items and personal items of Gandhiji. Some of the most important items available to display are Satyagraha woodcut by Willemia Muller Ogterop, Gandhi's walking sticks which he used to carry everywhere, the shawl and dhoti which he was wearing at the time of his assassination, a bullet which took our most loved leader to another world and also most importantly his urn.
A trip to this museum is worth a million and also a need of the hour, hence it is a must.
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