VR helps ‘Parliament Museum’ to present India’s past

Imagine yourself marching with Mahatma Gandhi in Dandi March for Salt Satyagraha or imagine sitting in the front row with legends like Dr. Radhakrishnan and Sardar Patel as India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru delivers his famous ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech of 15th August 1947 midnight.

Such glorious moments from India’s past have come alive thanks to Virtual Reality in the newly opened Parliament museum at New Delhi. The high-tech story-telling museum on democratic heritage in India is developed at a cost of Rs. 4.5 crore.

“History museums in India are still following century-old traditional passive display with pictures hung on flat panels and touch-me-not art?¬©facts encased in glass cabinets Dr. Saroj Ghose, Museum adviser shared with Animation Xpress.com.

Dr. Ghose who formerly was President of International Council of Museums at UNESCO added “Parliament Museum is not art?¬©facts based but event based, where selected historical events are faithfully recreated and visitors take part in the events linking the present with the past.”

The museum also consists of immersive visualization with computerized seven-screen panoramic projection on Transfer of Power, a sound-light-animation-video synchronized walk-through period settings on Freedom Movement, computer multi-media with video clippings on large screens on Constitution of India and Functions of Parliament. There are 16 recreated period settings including Democracy in Ancient India, Legislative Reforms, General Elections of 1951 and others.

The museum also boasts of animatronics, where Pandit Nehru is made in realistic silicone rubber sculpture with all limb movements like torso, head sidewise, head up and down, eye balls left and right, eye lids blink, accurate lip movements, hands moving up and stretched, with the help of computer controlled pneumatic devices fully synchronized with his Tryst with Destiny speech.

“The challenge was in the presentation techniques and to make the museum sufficiently attractive with visitors’ participation” said Dr Ghose. “And creating this was another great challenge for me as I had to present a balance story of the Freedom Movement, Transfer of Power and Parliament System that would be acceptable to all without any controversy” he added.

Additional highlights at the museum include features like a unique computerized information bank where visitors can browse through any visual and textual information related to the Indian history over the internet and download the same on their data & video devices.

A team of 60 experienced professionals including Visual designers, Computer simulators, Mechanical and Electronic engineers and Technicians worked on the project for a period of eleven months to complete this project.

The museum depicts the events starting from the chronicles of Greek travelers on democratic systems in self-governing clans in ancient India till the present parliamentary system in India. The Museum has been built over 1600 sq feet of area and will be open to all from 5 September onwards and is free for all.

The museum was inaugurated on 14th August by President APJ Abdul Kalam in New Delhi.

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