Lest we forget: Unique exhibition recalls horrors of Partition

Lest we forget: Unique exhibition recalls horrors of Partition

A unique exhibition on the Partition of India, running until the end of this month, was inaugurated by India’s Minister for Culture and Tourism, G. Kishan Reddy, at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in New Delhi. Created in partnership with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) alongside the Partition Museum of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Trust (TAACHT), the exhibition was curated to mark the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence and Partition. August 14, declared “Partition Horrors Remembrance Day” by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saw the launch of this first-of-its-kind international effort.

The UK-based author behind the Trust and the Partition Museum in Amritsar who worked on the project, Lady Kishwar Desai, revealed that the exhibition is based mostly on the oral histories of survivors and their families.

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“It includes memorabilia donated by them, alongside historical documents, photographs, media reports and documentary evidence, gathered over the years by the Partition Museum from different parts of the world,” she said.

The inauguration was also attended by Indian Minister of State for Culture Arjun Ram Meghwal, Indian government Secretary (Culture) Govind Mohan, and Sachidanand Joshi, Member Secretary of IGNCA. To mark the occasion, Reddy unveiled a brac wood sculpture ‘God Alone’ (‎1956) by S.L. Parasher, an artist who also became the camp commander of a refugee camp during the exodus of 1947.

TAACHT is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that set up the award-winning Partition Museum in Amritsar in 2017 and is now preparing for the launch of a second Museum on Partition at the Dara Shikoh Library in Delhi, later this year. It is also creating a cultural hub and two more museums at the Dara Shikoh Library.

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The Partition Museum in Amritsar, Punjab, marks a historic first as the only museum-memorial dedicated to the survivors and victims of the Partition of India anywhere in the world.

These are all “People’s Museums” and are being set up entirely through donations, said the Trust – which was set up with the primary goal to open and operate a world-class physical museum and memorial to the horrors of Partition. It also has a strong focus on alternative education and research to protect and learn from India’s cultural heritage and history.

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