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Delhi to bring out glorious life and times of warrior king Shivaji in 120 oil paintings

Author: Karishma Kuenzang
Publication: Indiatoday.in
Date: October 6, 2017
URL:   http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/chhatrapati-shivaji-maharaj-maratha-king-delhi-cultural-exhibition-chhatrapati-shivrai-mahotsav/1/1062653.html

Delhi is all set to host a cultural exhibition Chhatrapati Shivrai Mahotsav in the honour of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The festival will comprise an exhibition of 120 oil paintings, which have been worked on for 14 years now.

Glorifying the conquests, technique and political strategies of the warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the Capital is all set to host a cultural exhibition in his honour.

Called the Chhatrapati Shivrai Mahotsav, the festival will comprise an exhibition of 120 oil paintings, which have been worked on for 14 years now, along with seminars about Shivaji and a food festival of regional Maharashtrian cuisine. Author Babasaheb Purandare, who has written books on Shivaji, has mentored art enthusiast Deepak Gore, who has put together the collection of paintings, made by father-son duo Shrikant and Gautam S Chougule.

"I grew up listening to songs and stories about Shivaji since I was five years old. I've been doing research on him for the past 40 years and I want everyone to know the history behind the king, especially students. And what better way to do it than art," Purandare says.

But why paintings? "People don't have time to read today, so visual education works best. Shivaji once said that this whole country belongs to him, and it's his duty to preserve it. That's the message we intend to spread through this exhibition --that it's our duty to preserve our heritage," he adds.

Purandare also spoke about how Shivaji used the tactic of Guerrilla warfare and the paintings depict the strategies he used. "Shivaji built a lot of qilas (forts), which were on hilltops and his enemies couldn't climb 2,000-3,000 feet and fight because they didn't have any experience to do that. Hence, Shivaji always won."

The author also reminds how Shivaji used surprise attacks to defeat his enemies. The paintings capture some of the most important events of Shivaji's life. "It was quite a challenge to depict his life and works through them," says Gore.

Purandare believes art and history should be true to each other, which sadly isn't the case in India. "You'll never find an authentic depiction of history in the arts. A little bit of fiction is fine, but they mix it up so disproportionately that it's not even five per cent accurate," he says.

AamchiDilli, a body working for promotion of awareness of history and culture, is organising the Oil Painting Exhibition: 'Raja Shivchhatrapati: Life, Vision, Legacy', at Twin Art Gallery, Indira Gandhi National Centre Of Arts in the city from October 6-16 between 10am and 7pm.
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