Museums hold the cultural wealth of the nation in trust for all generations and by its function and unique position, have become the cultural conscience of the nations.
Emmanuel N. Arinze,
President of the Commonwealth Association of Museums
Museums are the most tangible links to our past. Museums ensure understanding and appreciation for various groups and cultures. They promote better understanding of our collective heritage and foster dialogue, curiosity and self-reflection. Further, they serve to help future generations comprehend their history and recognize the achievements of those who came before them. Museums have historically also been centers of research, education, and public outreach. Museums provide memorable, immersive learning experiences, provoke imagination, introduce unknown worlds and subject matter, and offer unique environments for quality time with family because museums open up a world of imagination and exploration. They also play a crucial role in the success of tourism by attracting millions of international and domestic visitors. They are inherent part of the culture of the country, and cities that host them take great pride in their museums.
Unfortunately, in India, the role and contribution of museums in development of the country is not fully recognised. As a result, the museum culture in India has not developed at the necessary pace.
In our modern society, it has become necessary and indeed urgent for museums to redefine their missions, their goals, their functions and their strategies to reflect the expectations of a changing world.
India should develop more and more museums, which serve as agents of change and development: they must mirror events in society and become instruments of progress by calling attention to actions and events that will encourage development in the society. They must become part of the bigger communities that they serve and reach out to every group in the society.
As institutions possessing critical resources in society, they can encourage, promote and foster the best of the cultural and democratic ideals of our nation. Without being political, they can give voice to the citizenry in matters pertaining to how they are governed by creating avenues for free discussions and dialogue; they can create a confluence where the events of today can be exhibited and discussed for the collective good of all. Through their programmes and activities, the museums can sensitize target groups like teachers, adults, the youth, and women's organisations through popular forum discussions on the goals of the nation for the promotion and better understanding of its heritage and its agenda for national growth, development and general emancipation.
Museums should use their collections to promote a better understanding of the collective heritage of the people of India, which will have the effect of fostering the commonality of those things that unite the nation and its people. They can, through their programmes and activities, reconcile the various interests in the society for the collective good of the nation; they can use their unique positions to reach the conscience of the nation and to foster dialogue, and they can become rallying points for the country in ensuring that peace is enthroned.
One of the fundamental objectives of the forum will be to emphasise the role of museum to educate. The museum has the capacity and the ability to impart cultural education effectively as it houses the tools and materials for doing so in its collections. In modern society, the museums enrich the educational process by exposing children and indeed the public to their history in a positive way; they assist our future generations to understand and appreciate their history and culture and take pride in the achievements of their forebearers. It is important to introduce children to museums at a young age because our youth is our future and museums broaden our knowledge of the world.
Museum Culture Development Forum has been set up to develop and promote the culture of museums in India, as a part of the Taj Colloquium.
Following are the main objectives of the forum to:
The name of the forum, its objectives, goal and mission will be decided by the Steering Committee.
A Steering Committee is formed to lead the work of the forum.
Rest of the members will be drawn from other parts of the country.
To find about more about this project, click hereProject Steering Committee