Picture Postcards for Gandhi ji at Jamia Millia Islamia to mark his 150th birth anniversary


It is an attempt to connect with young minds, instilling a spirit of patriotism, a love for their country and revisiting Gandhi, exploring his key messages of Satyagraha (insistence on truth),  Sarvodaya  (development for all),  Sahishnuta (tolerance and respect for all),  Sahanshilta,  Swabalamban (Self-transformation), and Non Violence towards all beings…….

An exhibition titled ‘Picture Postcards for Gandhi’ to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and his contribution towards environment was held at M.F. Hussain Art Gallery of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) today.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Mr. AP Siddiqui (IPS) Registrar of Jamia Millia Islamia, which was aimed at sensitising people on preserving environment through art form by involving them.

In this unique initiative post cards carried pictures and messages addressed to Gandhi ji pledging to preserve environment.  The exhibition was conceived, designed and curated by Prof. Farhat Basir Khan of AJKMCRC, JMI.

This exhibition is an urgent attempt in climate change activist Greta Thunberg’s words, to tell the world that our house is indeed on fire, and we need to act now, with the same criticality as if it was a crisis. Climate change is here, the Alaskan ice has melted in entirety for the first time, and the Amazon has been on fire.

Gandhi’s teachings are about understanding the impact of our actions, being in tune with every breath we take, and first winning control of our own senses, of putting need before greed and realizing that there would be enough to go around for everyone.

In a word of pins, pokes, likes, shares, RTs, favorites, insta good and instant gratification, Gandhi is that calm ocean who gently but firmly coaxes you to take a step back and discover your very being and your core connection with the planet, which truly fragile and most under threat at the movement. Says Prof. FB Khan in his curation note.

Speaking on the occasion Prof. Farhat Basir Khan, the curator said, “These picture postcards, carry hope, and messages from young people for the father of the nation on his 150th  birth anniversary, notes of gratitude with text the size of two SMSs, but with pictures which speak a thousand words, celebrating these new change-makers, and their love for the environment and the teachings of Gandhi, and how he lived his life, in oneness with the universe. It is a 4X4 conversation pushing the boundaries of both form and content and creating meaningful art, to inspire and initiate dialogue and to further Jamia’s commitment to the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and our promise to continue doing our bit for the environment and the ecosystem around us. Community and the greater good of citizens has always been at the centre of Gandhi’s life and the very purpose of Jamia as an institution, hence the outreach and the engagement for art with a social message.”

This exhibition continues the Letters series which first began right here in Jamia, creating and championing the new format of public engagement in art, where the viewer is also a creator and the artist liberates both the art form and the physicality of the material form, taking it beyond the confines of the gallery walls and truly into the public sphere.

Prof. Khan  has organised exhibitions on similar formats namely  #Sandesh2soldiers, #Photos4Peace, and #ChitthiAayiHai. Prof. Khan said post card is a format of communication which allows the youth to interweave the image, with the written text, revive the forgotten art of telling stories and writing letters. It is an attempt to connect with young minds, instilling a spirit of patriotism, a love for their country and revisiting Gandhi, exploring his key messages of Satyagraha (insistence on truth),  Sarvodaya  (development for all),  Sahishnuta (tolerance and respect for all),  Sahanshilta,  Swabalamban (Self-transformation), and Non Violence towards all beings.

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