Hundreds of vintage cameras, ranging from well known names such as Nikon, Lubitel, Rolliflex and Zeiss Ikon are among those lining stacked shelves in the basement of Aditya Arya’s house in Gurugram. But what immediately catches your eye is a surprisingly large collection of original prints from India's freedom struggle shot by acclaimed photojournalist Kulwant Roy, that has leaders like Nehru, Gandhi, Patel, Jinnah captured in candid moments.
Aditya Arya is a photography enthusiast and the chairman of the India Photo Archive Foundation, which collects and preserves the photographs of the Indian freedom movement. The archive currently has a collection of over 800 vintage cameras and other equipment, all of which is in the basement at Arya’s house. And his plans for this collection are much grander.
Arya, in collaboration with the Gurugram Municipal Corporation, is all set to open a photography museum, which could be the largest photography museum in the world. Apart from housing the prints of legendary photographers such as Roy and Raghu Rai, the museum will have Arya’s entire collection of cameras and equipment from over five decades. With it he wants people to know the history and evolution of the art of photography.
He also promises the museum will appeal to more than just professional photographers and will touch a chord with everyone.
"Everyone is a photographer, whether he clicks from a DSLR or a Cell Phone camera. He's a photographer," Arya said.