India’s capital city Delhi will soon be home to the largest museum in the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in a speech on Wednesday.
During his address at the inauguration of the redeveloped IECC Complex in Pragati Maidan, PM Modi announced his plans for the museum called ‘Yuge Yugeen Bharat’, which will capture India’s rich and varied history. The name ‘Yuge Yugeen Bharat’ is a Sanskrit phrase that translates to ‘everlasting India’ in English. The current North Block and South Block of the old Parliament Building will be converted into the museum, covering 1.17 lakh sq metres of space across 950 rooms. These iconic Blocks, designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker in the 1930s have long been the nerve centre of India’s governance, housing key ministries and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). The museum will exhibit several ‘khands’ or sections tracing the rich history of the Indian civilization as far back as 5,000 years.
VIDEO | "Soon, the biggest museum of the world – 'Yuge Yugeen Bharat' – will be constructed in Delhi," says PM @narendramodi during inauguration of redeveloped IECC Complex in Pragati Maidan, Delhi. pic.twitter.com/QersntrwHV
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) July 26, 2023
With over 73,000 square metres of exhibit area, the Louvre in Paris, France, is currently the world’s largest museum. It is home to some of the most well-known pieces of art in the entire world, such as the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.
The museum will document the intellectual and artistic accomplishments of prehistoric India, the Indus Valley Civilisation, the Vedic era, and India’s top universities like Takshashila and Nalanda. It will also highlight the Maurya, Gupta, Pandya, Pallav, Chola, Kushans, Kashmir, and Rashtrakut dynasties who maintained trading connections with nations like Rome and Greece.
In 2018, Modi inaugurated the world’s tallest statue, the Statue of Unity created as a tribute to the ‘Iron Man of India’, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Using 70,000 tonnes of cement, 25,000 tonnes of steel, and 12,000 bronze panels, each weighing over 1700 tonnes, the statue cost nearly INR 3000 crore. In 2022, he unveiled a 108-foot statue of Lord Hanuman in Gujarat’s Morbi district. The construction of the massive idol started in 2018 and reportedly cost INR 10 crore. Many have criticised the construction of these monuments, arguing that there are plenty of sectors in India, like health, safety, employment and education where the money could have been utilized.
In his speech at the inauguration ceremony, Modi also announced that he intends to make India one of the top three economies in the world in his second term. While India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world right now, it is also one of the most unequal countries. According to Oxfam International, inequality has been rising sharply for the last three decades. The top 10% of the Indian population holds 77% of the total national wealth.