Exasperating Dogra Art Musuem

Our heritage, our legacy and our bequest depicting contemporary glorious period in which thrived the innate arts, crafts, literature and heroic feats, The Dogra Art Museum is staring into our face and asking questions about how much are we contributing towards keeping the heritage alive both in its structure as well as in the hearts and the psyche of the people. We talk of culture and we talk of traditions as also we talk of sacraments and all of these in one form or the other are found in symbols of our rich heritage and it becomes our abounded duty to preserve and propagate its rich contents. Pahari miniature paintings from Basohli, now almost a neglected art is found in the museum which needs to be protected and restored to its original sheen. History remains alive when we read, research and get to know more about it, introducing the same to the next generation, narrate to them the nuts and bolts of all that legacy since one of the most reliable sources of history is that of our symbols of heritage.
With the prelude as above, the said Museum is home to nearly over eight thousand artefacts which are dating back to 16th century and thereafter but has this priceless treasure been kept in a secure and protected form? Well the answer is unfortunately not, vagaries of weather have dealt a severe blow to these artefacts and other valuable pieces of art and crafts. Seepage of rain water into the museum building has done more damage to it. It should have been incumbent upon the State Governments that were in power from time to time, to at least carry elementary repairs and restoration works to protect and preserve its ceiling from getting damaged and at various points prevent its caving in. Not only the ‘falling ceiling ‘ but the walls itself are in a near crumbling state imperilling the structure in itself. The pink Hall should have got focussed attention but it is found to be the most neglected. We have here priceless manuscripts, stone inscriptions, textiles , armoury, numismatics, oil paintings, jewellery, portraits and other art works. This treasure needs to be protected and preserved.
It is just common sense in case the entire issue is looked at from the point of view of how besides popularising the Museum, it could fetch a handsome revenue from the visitors whose footfall would show upward trend which could have again taken care of its maintenance and upkeep. Had the likes of Dogra Art Museum been in some foreign country, they could have gone through fire and water and generated resources of maintenance from out of the revenues earned and made it a favourite tourist destination but it is entirely a different story with us. Worldwide researches reveal that even three to four thousand years back, Indian art and culture travelled far and wide and still in many countries such symbols even in ruins bear testimony to our love for art, workmanship, sculpture and building traits and feats. Excavations are revealing more about India’s unique richness and specialities and when seen in that context, Dogra Art Museum deserves to be accorded its due importance and care. When we see how haphazardly fixtures and fittings mostly electric etc are done in the Museum, we feel the levels of lackadaisical approach and response from the concerned authorities.
The artefacts of the Museum have been shifted from one place to the other and finally to the present building bearing different names right from AjaibGhar, Dogra Art Gallery and now Dogra Art Museum. The Museum needs to be prominently put on the tourist map and arrangements made especially for tourists to have the Museum visited and enjoy the varieties of art and crafts. Scientific and innovative approaches need to be employed in keeping heritages like the one under reference alive and erected in pristine form. We need to introduce and familiarise among the school going children and college going students the Museum to impart in them the pride of Dogra heritage and keep connected to the roots. It is only when they, the future of the country, realise the importance of such symbols of pride can they toil to keep it preserved and secured.