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Mark Your Diary on Aug 17

Get ready to relive the bitter sweet memories of Partition and pre-Partition days. Mark you diary on August 17, when all those emotions are going to come alive with the first ever Partition Museum in the tastefully renovated Town Hall of Amritsar throwing open its doors to the public after becoming fully operational.

It will be a big event with people, who went through the trauma of partition, and their families from all over the country and across the world congregating in Amritsar on the day, which will be commemorated every year as Partition Remembrance Day. It was on this day in 1947 that the Partition was announced, leading to the perhaps the largest migration in human history, with some 80 million affected.

Mark Your Diary on Aug 17, Lifeinchd

Photos By: Life in Chandigarh

With the launch of an online ‘Chalo Amritsar – 17th August, 2017’ campaign, Partition survivors, and their families, from around the world, will be requested to enrol so that they can be honoured on the occasion.
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rnThey will also be asked to send in their written or recorded memories so that these can be displayed in the Museum, along with the other exhibits. The survivors and their families can also send objects and related memorabilia to the Museum for inclusion.

Mark Your Diary on Aug 17, Lifeinchd

The Arts And Cultural Heritage Trust, which has been tasked with setting up and maintaining the Museum, “appeals to all Partition survivors and their families to share their personal archives and memories of those historic days, so that they can be preserved for posterity,” noted author and columnist Kishwar Desai, who is also the Chair of the Trust, told a media conference in Chandigarh.

She was accompanied by Punjab Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who said that the Museum, alongwith several other heritage buildings and places in the state, will be showcased and exploited as a tourist circuit for maximising the inflow of tourists. This will not only make these places self sustaining but also hugely contribute to employment and revenue generation for local populations.

Mark Your Diary on Aug 17, Lifeinchd

Kishwar said besides official documents, the Museum will showcase carefully curated stories from Partition survivors. Being created as a people’s museum, it has access to over 5,000 items of oral histories, documents, artefacts, art objects, which will be displayed from time to time. The Museum is being set up through donations from corporates and individuals, she added.

The Trust and its supporters include well known personalities such as author Kuldip Nayar, designer Ritu Kumar, academician Lord Meghnad Desai (Kishwar’s husband), and screenplay writer Prasoon Joshi. Its academic advisors include London School of Economics and Cambridge University, UK, and documents and exhibits are being contributed to it from various universities and archives in India and UK.

Mark Your Diary on Aug 17, Lifeinchd

Sidhu said the Capt Amarinder Singh led Punjab government welcomes the unique initiative to commemorate 17th August as Partition Remembrance Day in memory of those ordinary and extraordinary people, particularly from Punjab and Bengal, who lost everything to the country’s Partition but went on to build a new India with their indomitable spirit and resilience.

He said the Museum will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister in the presence of a host of high level national and international dignitaries, including NRIs. Among the special invitees will be film personalities Mahesh Bhatt, Rakesh Om Prakash Mehra, Alia Bhatt, to name a few, he added.

Mark Your Diary on Aug 17, Lifeinchd

Anyone with a connect with Partition, including from Pakistan and the rest of the world, are welcome to participate in the epoch-making event to mark 70 years of Partition, he said, adding that the Punjab government will facilitate in grant of visa to all those who approach it. Ultimately it is upon the Government of India to decide who all are to be granted a visa, he maintained.
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rnKishwar said, “The inaugural event will be followed by an evening of Sufi music, under the aegis of the Arts And Literature Festival of Amritsar (ALFA), and a nostalgic recreation of the pre-1947 streets of Amritsar and Lahore, with street food and other memorabilia. The function will be open to the public. Teamworks, which organises the Jaipur Literature Festival, will partner with The Arts And Cultural Heritage Trust for the event, she added.
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Mark Your Diary on Aug 17, Lifeinchd
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August 17 is the day when, 70 years ago, the Partition of India was announced (in 1947), leading to one of the most traumatic events in the history of Punjab. The largest migration in history saw not just the division of the states of Punjab and Bengal, but also the colossal loss of homes, and lives. The impact of this terrible event has never before been recorded in physical space, and the Museum, as well as the accompanying events, will commemorate the memory of those ordinary and extraordinary people, particularly from Punjab and Bengal, who lost everything to the country’s partition but went on to build a new India with their indomitable spirit and resilience, Sidhu said.

Mark Your Diary on Aug 17, Lifeinchd
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Decision to create the Partition Museum
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rnThe decision to create the Partition Museum at Town Hall was taken by the Punjab Government in May 2016, following which The Arts and Cultural Heritage Trust (TAACHT) was allotted the task of creating and maintaining the Museum.
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rnTown Hall Amritsar
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rnThis 100-year old building, with its beautifully arched verandahs, doors with Venitian glass, heritage tiles on the floor, and historic belfry (the bell was cast in 1897) is an apt home for the Partition Museum. It is part of the recently renovated Heritage Plaza, located a quick ten-minute walk from the holy Golden Temple.
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rnFor further information : email: thepartitionmuseum@gmail.com

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