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The India Pride Project- Restoring Indian Heritage

“Every decade, India loses about 20,000 objects to an organised international network of politicians, bankers and smugglers. If one village loss its deity, it affects the whole nation”.

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Anuraag Saxena Source: Youtube
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By Akanksha Sharma

The India Pride Project (IPP) – is an establishment determined to bring back the stolen art and lost treasures of India. Founded in 2013, it is headed by Anuraag Saxena, who currently works as Asia-pacific CEO for the World Education Foundation, UK. The project has a core team consisting of 11 member- all of them engaged in regular full-time jobs in education, banking, business and some are historians.

The main objectives of IPP are:-

  1. Bringing back lost Indian heritage.
  2. Creating awareness through social network
  3. Creating awareness among Government agencies
  4. Instilling the fear in buyer’s mind

Watch this video: Shri Anuraag Saxena

They received their first success when the 11th century Chola statue of Sripurnthan Natarajan was handed over to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot in 2014.

The idol was stolen from Bihadeshwara Temple in 2006, since then the temple witnessed reduced number of worshipers. The dancing sculpture of Shiva was smuggled by a New-York based art dealer Shubhash Kapoor.

Source: ipp.org.in

“We told them that if you bought the idol in good faith, which we think they did, you should return it back in good faith” the team informed the museum in Australia and further spread awareness about the situation.

File:Shiva as the Lord of Dance LACMA edit.jpg
Sripurnthan Natarajan Source: Wikimedia commons

“Vijay and I lived outside India for a relatively longish time and we were bowled over by the pride other nations have in their heritage. And some of these aren’t even as ancient as India. We thought about what heritage meant to communities in real India – in villages, a temple or a banyan tree has so much significance – that we decided to do something,” says Vijay Saxena.

He further added “Every decade, India loses about 20,000 objects to an organised international network of politicians, bankers and smugglers. If one village loses its deity, it affects the whole nation”.

Main goals of IPP are :-

  • Restitution of 5,000 items in 10 years.
  • Bring back US $50 million of looted artifacts in India in 2 years.
  • Create precedence through successful prosecution of criminal art-dealers
  • create a national institution for identifying and conserving Indian artifacts

Related: Sacred Indian art is seen more as “Art” than as “Sacred” in the art market: Dr. Donna Yates

“We have a few people within the government and law enforcement departments who like what we are doing and let us know. In many cases, a villager tells us or we come to know when the case is reported in newspapers,” says Saxena on methods of tracing the looted artifacts.

“Indian art is sitting in various museums, and we have to study their documents and provenances carefully. The same goes for auction data,” says Vijay Kumar, who is a blogger and general manager of a shipping company.

They’ve recently launched an online petition: www.tiny.cc/bogh.

Akanksha Sharma is a student of Journalism in New Delhi. She currently works as an intern in Newsgram. Twitter: @Akanksha4117

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  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    A remarkable initiative..

  • Shubhi Mangla

    A remarkable initiative by Mr. Anurag Saxena and Vijay Kumar….i hope our government was as concerned about this matter especially when our hourable Prime Minister signed a treaty that India doesn’t want to receive these precious sculptures back

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    A remarkable initiative..

  • Shubhi Mangla

    A remarkable initiative by Mr. Anurag Saxena and Vijay Kumar….i hope our government was as concerned about this matter especially when our hourable Prime Minister signed a treaty that India doesn’t want to receive these precious sculptures back

Next Story

PM Modi accuses Congress of using foreign agencies to spread lies

Modi-Congress rift increases

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Congress hires foreign agencies
Modi accuses Congress

The ongoing battle between the two largest Indian political parties is intensifying with each passing day. Adding to the same, PM Modi on Thursday said that Rahul Gandhi led Congress party is spreading lies about him through the foreign agencies.

While addressing BJP candidates, state office bearers and leaders of Karnataka via Narendra Modi app, he requested all not to fall prey to the lies being spread by Congress party against them. He further said that it is only possible after the end of Congress culture that political purity can be attained in India.

Blames Rahul Gandhi and Party
Modi accuses Congress

He blamed the Congress for being hesitant to talk on development and always trying to divide the society. He said, “If you analyze last few elections, you will realize how a few political parties have indulged only in dividing societies on religious lines. They give lollipops to a community before elections and then forget them.”
Modi said that this is the working strategy of Congress where they play with the emotions of communities. They act of being sympathetic towards them and then forget about them after the elections.

“They will never give account of their works. They keep indulging in dividing the society. The political purity cannot be established in the country till the Congress culture is finished from the mainstream.” he added.
Slapping Congress for spreading “rampant” lies, Modi alerted the workers not to get trapped by the opposition’s strategies.

“Congress has resorted to rampant lying after a series of defeats in elections. Earlier, the Congress used to spread lies over five to 10 issues they raised. Now out of 50 issues, 40-45 are based on lies,” the Prime Minister said.

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Modi did not stop here. He advised his karykartas to hire foreign agencies to deceive the planning of the Congress party. He said that other political parties do not talk about development while BJP fights only on issues. He added, “This was unacceptable to those parties which only concentrated on division. We govern and also fight elections based only on development model.” (IANS)