Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 24:

A gallery on historical Paika Rebellion was inaugurated in the State Museum yesterday to commemorate 200 years of the revolt, which is claimed to be the first armed rebellion of India against British rule for independence.

The gallery features a 40-minute light and sound show for the visitors about the history of 1817 Paika Rebellion. The life of legendary personalities including Jayi Rajaguru, Buxi Jagabandhu, Tapang Dalabehera, Krutibasa Patsani, Pindiki Bahubalendra has been featured in the gallery.

The light and sound show will be held every day. We are planning to hold the show both in English and Hindi languages in the upcoming days, said Culture & Tourism Minister Ashok Panda, who inaugurated the gallery.

Besides, Paika revolt, Odisha’s rich ancient maritime tradition, Mukteswar-Kalinga temple sculpture, the aftermath scene of Kalinga War of Ashok and King Kharavela’s war operation were installed at the entrance gate of the gallery.

The government has spent Rs 50 lakh on the gallery and light and sound show.

Only, 40 antique pieces collected from Gopal Kumar Das of Khurda have been showcased at the gallery. The items used by the armed forces of Odisha including various weapons, sword, writing materials and other items have been displayed.

However, the Culture department drew sharp criticism from visitors and researchers over the photo exhibition at the gallery. Most of the pictures taken from various locations of Khurda exhibited at the gallery are flex prints of original photographs. The audience and researchers want more arms and objects to be exhibited at the gallery. Even the flex prints have been used in light and sound show. The Paika Rebellion has been presented through a projector by installing only two lights.

The objects related to Paika revolt if collected from somewhere, will be placed in the gallery later, said Culture Secretary Manoranjan Panigrahi.

Meanwhile, a three-day festival will be held at Khurda and Barunei from March 27 as part of the celebration to mark 200 years of Paika Rebellion, Panda said.

Plans are under process to install a memorial on the Paika Rebellion in Khurda, he added.