The special exhibition of rare photographs from the archives of The Hindu at the AIFACS gallery in New Delhi on Saturday had Sheila Dikshit identifying a historic personality when everyone else around seemed clueless….

A two-day exhibition of rare photographs of historic events from the valuable archives of The Hindu was inaugurated by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit at the All-India Fine Arts & Crafts Society (AIFACS) here on Saturday.

Ms. Dikshit, who went round studying the pictures like a curious historian, was impressed by the black-and-white photographs of stalwarts of the freedom movement like Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan.

Ms. Dikshit even succeeded in identifying a historic personality when everyone else around seemed clueless.

Looking at the picture of an aircraft, one of the herons from the fleet of aircraft owned by The Hindu for delivering the newspaper to various destinations in the South in 1936, the Chief Minister was taken by surprise and exclaimed: “Oh my God! The Hindu has a vision.”

At an informal chat later, Ms. Dikshit said we sometimes forget what is written in a 500-word article but the pictures remain etched in our mind.

Stating that the exhibition should have been on for a longer duration, the Chief Minister said she would like The Hindu to publish a pictorial book when the country achieves a milestone like its 70 anniversary.

“The book should be on the history of India. It will easily become a bestseller and I want to book a copy in advance,” the Chief Minister said.

At the exhibition, there are historically significant pictures like the country’s first President Rajendra Prasad on the eve of his first address to Parliament. He is seen with his Cabinet colleagues. Another important picture is of the Mahatma with Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

Then there is a picture of Bapu outside The Hindu office on Mount Road in Chennai after unveiling the portrait of the newspaper’s late editor S. Kasturi Ranga Iyengar in 1925.

Another picture is that of Nehru with K. Srinivasan, G. Kasturi and S. Rangarajan when he visited the newspaper’s office.

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