April 09, 2015

Mumbai needs an iconic museum to capture India’s globalised past and point to its future

Contrary to a land-based narrative of Indian history, India actually has a glorious maritime history all across the Indian Ocean, which is in fact one of the first stories of globalization. In this op-ed, Reuben Abraham, CEO and Senior Fellow at IDFC Institute, and Sanjeev Sanyal, Global Strategist and Managing Director at Deutsche Bank, talk about the need for a maritime museum on the Indian Ocean on the Eastern waterfront of Mumbai.

This article states that " Great museums are an important ‘soft’ ingredient of a metropolis and can have real economic value. But why a maritime museum? Indian history textbooks give the impression that the country’s past is all about land-based empires. But Indian civilisation has always had a huge maritime footprint. After all, it is the only country that has an ocean named after it. 

Image from commons.wikimedia, Fernandopascullo

Mumbai is the obvious location for it, given its strong maritime traditions. The problem in a crowded city is to find real estate to match the ambition of such a project. Fortunately, there are plans to redevelop 1,800 acres of Port Trust land spread across the city’s eastern seaboard. Much of it will go towards offices, residential buildings and open areas. However, there is a case for using a maritime museum as a key anchor tenant to create a cultural hub that serves not just as a reminder of our glorious maritime past but also that has theatres, lecture halls, restaurants and other amenities that contribute to a vibrant urban environment."

Tags : museum , Mumbai
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