On August 17, Amritsar witnessed the inauguration of the Partition Museum, the first of its kind in the world, as a tribute to the millions who perished as well as those who survived but lost everything they held dear during India's Partition in 1947.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh unveiled a plaque of the museum — an initiative of The Arts and Cultural Heritage Trust (TACHT) — at a commemoration ceremony that marked the observance of August 17 as Partition Remembrance Day. A minute's silence was observed after a single toll of the bell at the historic British-era Town Hall, where the museum has been built. He dedicated the museum — developed in collaboration with the state government — to the nation.
In his speech, the chief minister lauded the efforts of Lord Meghnad Desai in giving shape to the museum, which he said had "recreated a very sad chapter of our history." The museum, along with the Azadi Memorial in Jalandhar and similar initiatives, will serve to make younger generations aware of and understand their past and learn from it, Singh said, adding that no nation could do well without learning lessons from history.
He said that while for the younger generations Partition days were mere statistics, those who went through the ordeal had many grim memories of one of the greatest migrations of human beings in history.
Going down memory lane, the chief minister said there is etched on his mind a visual of the bodies he saw lying at a railway station while returning home from his boarding school in Shimla. He also recalled his late mother Rajmata Mohinder Kaur's work to help refugee girls get back home.
The event, marked by a poetry recital by Gulzar, who launched his newly translated book Footprints on Zero Line: Writings on the Partition on the occasion, included panel discussions with experts such as Urvashi Butalia and Punjabi poet Surjit Patar.
Partition Museum Trust Chair Kishwar Desai thanked the state government for support in developing the museum, which she said was dedicated to the spirit and courage of Partition survivors. The museum has put together mementos and material from 1947 shared by various persons, including pictures, paintings, and videos.
With inputs from IANS.
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- Chief Minister
- Hindustan Times
- Punjab Chief Minister
- Amarinder Singh
- Partition Museum
- Disk partitioning
- Partition Museum Trust
- Cultural Heritage Trust
- Meghnad Desai
- Rajmata Mohinder Kaur
- Azadi Memorial