The exhibition was inaugurated on Monday and these reproduced 250-rare photographs are on display at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.

Through a storyboard narration, curator of the exhibition Shakeel Hossain traced Mahatma Gandhi's struggle for freedom till his death; Rabindranath Tagore's contribution towards literature and his personal journey; popular names from various fields whose contribution led to the social and political change in the country; candid pictures of various indigenous tribes and much more.

It was while reading India's first Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru's book "The Discovery of India", US-based Hossain felt the need to rediscover essence of India in its own ways.

"Back in the USA, we often discuss over formal dinners about India at a crossroad or where to go from here. While I was reading this book, I realized we might be talking about future, but we have lost traces of our past," Hossain said.

"The strong need to see what was there and what shaped India to be what it is today is the purpose of this exhibition. At a time when photographs were just a personal collection and not displayed everywhere, the works of these photographers give a window to that era which was glorious," he added.

Padma Shri recipient photojournalist Pablo Bartholomew was the chief guest of the event, and he too, admitted that during his work, spanning over three decades, has seen how the country witnessed many changes.

"The exhibition is a delight for photo connoisseurs," he said, adding that he wished originals were displayed because the quality of an image is distorted when reprinted.

"It is a treasure trove but I wished they were original. I hope the gallery finds a provision to display them to public as these are the jewels of our country," he said.

"Quality of original can't be matched with reprints," he added. The one-month long exhibition is open to all.


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