Gangubai Hangal Museum broken open

Son of Gangubai Hangal Baburao Hangal, along with his son Arun Hangal and daughter Madhavi Joshi, addressed presspersons in Hubballi on Monday.  

Shocked by his own daughter and son-in-law’s act of breaking open the museum containing the prized possessions of legendary Hindustani vocalist Gangubai Hangal, her son and nonagenarian Baburao Hangal has sought status quo to be maintained with regard to the museum which he wants to hand over to the government for maintenance.

Addressing an urgent press conference here on Monday night along with his son Arun Hangal and another daughter Madhavi Joshi (grandchildren of Gangubai Hangal), Mr. Baburao Hangal said that he was pained over the development in which his daughter Anita (Vaishnavi) Talakad along with her husband Mahesh Talakad had broken open the doors of Gangubai Hangal Museum of Music set up by her son late Manoj Hangal at Ganga Lahari (residence of Gangubai Hangal) in Hubballi. Mr. Baburao Hangal said that he and his brother Narayanrao were the legal heirs to the property, where the museum was set up to showcase the prized possessions of his mother, the doyenne of Hindustani classical music. “However, without my knowledge they have broken open the lock of the museum and have taken possession of the collections. What has hurt us is that nothing was discussed with us and I was shocked looking at the present condition of the museum,” he said in a choked voice.

“We all have emotional attachment with Ajji’s (Gangubai Hangal) awards, certificates, photographs and other musical instruments collected from across the country by my elder brother Manoj, who was passionate about music. Due to my father’s health issue, I had taken him to Bengaluru for treatment and we had locked the museum after making it secure. Now, it has been broken open and we don’t know what has happened to the rare exhibits,” Mr. Arun Hangal said.

Ms. Madhavi Joshi said that while she paid visits to Ganga Lahari once a month or two, she never touched the museum as it was locked and because she knew that her father was emotionally attached to it. “He has a story to tell about each one of the exhibits in the museum. Today morning, he couldn’t control his tears on seeing the present state of the museum. He just couldn’t control his tears,” she said.

Mr. Baburao Hangal and Mr. Arun Hangal said that Ms. Anita and Mr. Mahesh Talakad probably had wanted to make use of Gangubai Hangal’s name for commercial purposes, to which they were opposed. “We want status quo maintained. Yesterday, under police escort, we visited the house and museum and after a lengthy and heated talk, it was agreed that status quo would be maintained and the keys would be handed over to us by 6 p.m. today (Monday). However, nothing has happened so far. If there is no development by tomorrow, we will formally lodge a complaint,” they said.

To a query, Mr. Baburao Hangal said that his younger brother [Narayanrao (87)] were in agreement to the proposal of handing over the museum to the government, but his daughter [Anita] and her husband [Mahesh Talakad] had forcibly taken possession of the museum which, he said, should be handed back to the legal heirs. “By indulging in such an act, they have insulted the legacy of my mother Gangubai Hangal,” he said.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 8:01:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/gangubai-hangal-museum-broken-open/article34305373.ece

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