August 21, 2021 4:40:03 pm
A museum on wheels inside the historic trams of Kolkata, commemorating the 75th anniversary of India’s independence through the people’s perspective, was inaugurated earlier this week by the Minister Transport, Housing of West Bengal, Firhad Hakim, in the presence of officials from the West Bengal Transport Corporation. From London, virtually, Lord Meghnad Desai and Kishwar Desai were present, besides Mallika Ahluwalia, curator and CEO of the Partition Museum.
Hakim said, “India is a country of peace. Bengal believes in harmony and unity in diversity. This museum reflects the ethos of Bengal. It also dwells into the freedom struggle in which Bengal played a major role. The Museum on Wheels depicts the efforts of our freedom fighters and also the impact of division of Bengal and Punjab on the national psyche”.
The museum will be displayed at Esplanade till the end of this year. From January 1, 2022, it will move to other parts of the city. Rajesh Sinha, West Bengal Transport Secretary, added, “The museum depicts the independence movement and the impact of the Partition on the states of Bengal and Punjab.” Ahluwalia added, “We are thrilled to have this opportunity to display our museum in Kolkata – a city steeped in the history of independence, freedom struggle and the drawing of borders in Bengal and Punjab. Trams of Kolkata have their own rich history and heritage, and we wanted to leverage their mobility and easy access to reach out to the people in Kolkata.”
The museum has been designed inside two trams. The first car highlights the rising resistance against the British Raj from the 1900s. It delves on to the key moments during the period of 1900 to 1947, leading to independence and how the borders were drawn. The second car focuses on the mass migration and rehabilitation that took place post-Partition and explores the humane angle.
The Partition Museum, which opened in Amritsar in 2017 narrates the story of the Partition through the voices of millions who lived through it.
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