New Delhi, Aug 27 (PTI) An exhibition at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) here based on Partition recalls the events during one of the worst tragedies in history and its aftermath and also highlights the oral histories of survivors and their families.
Titled “Partition of India… 1947”, and curated by the Partition Museum and Ministry of Culture, it was inaugurated by Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy on August 14 coinciding with ‘Partition Horrors Remembrance Day’. It will be up for display till August 31.
Walking down the memory lane of Partition horrors, the exhibition unveils with an art installation ‘River song’ by artist Debasish Mukherjee. The red and beige cotton threads, in the 40-feet-tall art, represents people from both sides who lost everything in the unfortunate events of Partition. Some sections of the exhibition guide the visitors through historical events that built a path for an independent India while others showcase how people migrated and took refuge in parts of Delhi.
A canvas tent displayed in one of the sections gives the visitors a sense of how the refugee families, often more than two, shared space in the camps through monsoon and winters and amid diseases like cholera.
A ‘singer sewing machine’ displayed in this section, a prized possession of Bimla Goulati’s mother which she carried to India, tells the story of these migrants who brought along the memories of their homes across the border.
The ‘Rebuilding Lives’ section shows how Delhi and these migrants rebuilt themselves here and reconnected with their communities and people who got displaced.
Mianwali colony, now located in Gurugram, was one of the few housing societies built by these migrants. They also started a monthly newsletter — Mianwali Gazette — with one page printed in Urdu, as they were accustomed with the language, and the opposite in Hindi. The gazette is still being printed.
Many people who visited their old homes across the border after years were welcomed with open arms. Among them was Priyanka Mehta who visited her maternal grandmother’s home in Lahore which was allotted to the Iftikhar family after Partition. A picture of Mehta with the Iftikhar family during her visit can be seen in the ‘Hope gallery’ section of the exhibition.
When the then President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf visited India in 2005, the prime minister Manmohan Singh gifted him a painting of the former’s old haveli in Daryaganj and his birth certificate. The ‘Beyond Borders’ section displays such historic moments of India-Pakistan relations.
A vibrant red ‘Postbox of dreams and hopes’ has also been installed in the exhibition where visitors can write letters for the future generation about what they aspire to achieve for India.
In a small yellow postcard, Dr Jaseela Majeed writes, “The Partition museum left me in tears. My grandmother donated her jewellery when she was a small girl during Mahatma Gandhi’s independence movement in Kerala. I remember her telling me this story. I’m really touched to see many more incidents depicted here.” According to officials of the Partition Museum, there has been an overwhelming response from the visitors for curation and the narrative that they are presented through the exhibition.
The Partition Museum in Delhi is likely to open by the end of this year in the Dara Shikoh Library at Kashmiri Gate. PTI NB ZMN
This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.
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