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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Wall mural near Attari depicts story of Partition

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Attari, July 14, 2014
First Published: 10:07 IST(14/7/2014) | Last Updated: 10:23 IST(14/7/2014)

The story of the India’s Partition in 1947 can now be viewed on a giant 200’x10’ mural wall at a restaurant in the vicinity of the joint check post at the Indo-Pakistan border at Attari.

Amritsar deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat on Saturday dedicated to the public this unique work of art on a cemented wall of restaurant Sarhad. It has been created by a 15-member team of mural artists, led by Prof Suresh Nair of Banaras Hindu University and Kirti Chandak from Paris.

The mural is divided into five parts. The first panel depicts the pre-partition bonds between people, the joys of kite flying and scene of village elders sitting under a tree. The second panel shows the trauma and agony of partition and people migrating with meagre belongings.

The thirs and fourth panels depict the daily ceremony at the Wagah border which is witnessed by hundreds of people. The fifth panel is a utopian expression of a wish to see the gates at the border open for free travel for the people of the two countries.

Nair has used the technique of depicting murals in cement wherein the wet plastered cement wall is carved and completed within a couple of hours before it dries up to become stone hard.

Nair says that he selected Sarhad restaurant to experiment with reviving the ancient Indian mural art in cement medium because he was inspired by the deep commitment of its owner Aman Jaspal to the cause of IndoPak peace.

Nair is trained in both traditional and modern mural art and has studied at the Philadelphia School of Art, USA, on a Fulbright scholarship.

According to Kirti Chandak, outdoor murals in cement will bring this ancient Indian art form into the public domain and also withstand exposure to sun, rain and pollution. Deputy commissioner Bhagat congratulated Nair and his team for creating a mural masterpiece close to the Attari border. He expressed hope that tourists will flock to Sarhad to see this masterpiece.

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