A new Partition Museum that commemorates and documents the largest migration in history across borders in 1947 will be based in the historic Town Hall in Amritsar, according to the trust behind the unique project.
Arts And Cultural Heritage Trust chairperson Kishwar Desai said in London on Saturday that the trust had been allotted one wing in the Town Hall by the Punjab government to set up the Partition Museum.
It will be the first museum of its kind anywhere in the world, the trust said.
“We are very grateful the Punjab government has recognised the importance of the Partition in the history of India and the world,” Desai said.
More than fourteen million people migrated across the new borders of India and Pakistan in 1947 as they lost their loved ones and homes and were forced to rebuild their lives. They lived in camps and rudimentary shelters till they found alternate accommodation.
“It was a huge sacrifice that has largely been forgotten, and the Partition Museum will raise that veil of silence. The Museum will be a space of memory, healing and reconciliation. It will also memorialise the grit, courage and spirit of that generation,” the trust said.
The museum will include contributions and donations from the people, as well as artefacts and documents sourced through private and public collections and archives.
Some institutions associated with the project include the British Library, the UK Parliamentary Library, the National Archives, Punjab Archives, Panjab Digital Library, Cambridge University, the London School of Economics, Southampton University, the Tribune newspaper and Amity University.
Project organisers recently held an exhibition in New Delhi (‘Rising From The Dust: Hidden Tales From India’s 1947 Refugee Camps’) at the India Habitat Centre, where artwork, photographs, documents and artefacts connected to the Partition were displayed.