Bhagat (Singh) always carried a picture of Kartar Singh Sarabha in his pocket and would often tell tales of his bravery. Also, his pockets were always packed with books, mostly of the patriots of the world. Young minds should read such books as it will help them realise their duty to(wards) the motherland – these are the words of Bhagat Singh’s mother that are engraved at a special place in National Gallery of Portraits in Chandigarh’s Sector 17. The place depicts numerous incidents from Bhagat Singh’s short yet meaningful life.
Amongst the 41 displayed panels in the gallery, there’s a special corner dedicated to Bhagat Singh and his contribution to the fight for independence. Detailed panels and pictures of original clippings that were published back in the day depict Bhagat Singh’s ideologies, life and thoughts on freedom and liberation.
As the nation prepares to mark the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on March 23, residents often find it tough to locate the gallery, which is near the state library. When Chandigarh Newsline visited the gallery on Thursday, not a single visitor was there.
An attendant, Manish Kumar said that people often complain that finding the place is a difficult task. “The need of the hour is to have a fresh signboard that can lead people to the gallery. Even it needs some infrastructure boost. If we complain to the museum authorities, under whom the gallery is, they just have a look at the problem without much help,” said Kumar.
“The clippings and information here on the panels are all in English. I’ve seen many people struggling with the language. I feel the panels should also be in Hindi and Punjabi to encourage more people to visit the gallery,” said Satish Kumar, another attendant.
Prof Chaman Lal, writer, award-winning translator who has dedicated his life to the research of documents
connected with Bhagat Singh, said that many young people prefer reading about the legends on Internet rather visiting such galleries. “We could do with some upgrade and publicity to attract more people. The content on the panels here need to be divided accordingly,” suggested Lal who will share his years of hard work and research with Bhagat Singh Archives and Resource Centre, Jawaharlal Nehru University, on March 23, the martyr’s death anniversary.