Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated ‘Kranti Gatha’ a newly created Gallery of Indian Revolutionaries inside the underground British – era bunker at Raj Bhavan Mumbai.
The Gallery of Indian Revolutionaries has been created in the bunker that was discovered below Raj Bhavan in 2016. It is a tribute to the known and unknown revolutionaries of the Indian freedom movement. The Gallery of Revolutionaries has been created under the guidance of historian and writer Dr. Vikram Sampath with assistance from the South Central Zonal Cultural Centre, Nagpur. It is being dedicated in the year when India is celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
The ‘Kranti Gatha’ gallery also commemorates many revolutionaries from Maharashtra from the First War of Independence in 1857 to the Naval uprising in Mumbai in 1946. In this Vasudev Balwant Phadke, Chaphekar brothers, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Veer Savarkar, Babarao Savarkar, Krantiguru Lahuji Salve, Anant Laxman Kanhere, Rajguru, Madam Bhikaji Cama feature prominently.
The story of the armed struggle against the British rule from Maharashtra – then part of the Bombay State – is shown here through sculptures, rare photographs and murals. The first armed revolutionary organization ‘Abhinav Bharat’ and the Prati Sarkar self-rule movement of the Satara-Sangli region of the 1940s also figure in the Gallery. It also includes useful pictorial information about many tribal revolutionaries drawn by school children.
Information has been obtained from the State Archives Department, Asiatic Society, Kesari Archives, and Savarkar Museum in Mumbai. A scene of the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj has also been created in this hall.
The bunker at Raj Bhavan was discovered in 2016 by the then Governor of Maharashtra N Vidyasagar Rao. Built before the First World War, it was used by the British to store arms and ammunition. The bunker has 13 rooms of various sizes and the different cells in it were known as ‘Shell Store’, ‘Gun Shell’, Cartridge Store, Shell Lift, Central Artillery Room, Workshop, etc.
The bunker was found to have a proper drainage system as well as clean air and natural light. Lamp recesses were kept in various places in the bunker. It has since been carefully restored preserving all the original features. A virtual reality museum was inaugurated in this bunker by President Ramnath Kovind on 18 August 2019. However, many rooms in the 13-room bunker were empty. Many of these rooms as well as the wall in the hallway have now been used for the ‘Kranti Gatha – Gallery of Revolutionaries’.