Updated: Jun 8, 2022
The partition of India was a very painful process. It was full of bloodshed and many lives were lost. To remember and honor those people partition museums have been set up in Amritsar and in New Delhi. I recently visited the Partition Museum in Amritsar. It was inaugurated on August 15,2017.The pains of partition can be felt as soon as one steps into the Museum. The different rooms and the gallery introduce the visitor to the political events leading to Partition. As one moves from one room to another, one realizes the pain of Partition.
I saw many pictures of people moving from one country to another and many pictures of people killed. The people were helpless with all the belongings that they could carry with them. Seeing all those photos made me think of the horrors of partition. I read accounts and heard recorded voices of many great personalities. There were also stories of people speaking about the problems they faced. The people narrated their torture. They told how mob of people attacked their houses and how neighbors helped them escape. I also read stories about a few people who took away all the weapons from the people of their village so that no one could kill one another. Think about all the lives such people saved!
There were also many old letters and documents for example of artists like Satish Gujral, Sardari Lal Parasher, Krishen Khanna which capture the partition and the painful times.
Letters have been written to Pakistan government to return the paintings of Sardari Lal Parasher, a famous artist, who migrated to India. The request is for the paintings of Parasher which were left in Pakistan. There are also old briefcases, diaries, clothes, furniture showcased. All these things are carefully preserved by the museum. Besides that I also saw many paintings on refugees of the partition. They have given me an insight of the refugee camps. A tent in which the refugees lived shows their plight.
The movie showing the arrival and departure of trains loaded with dead bodies brought tears in my eyes. There is an artificial tree where, by paying (Rs.100) for a leaf that resembled a page, you could attach a sheet with some emotional message or your thoughts about the Partition. The Memory Tree invites relatives of victims to write names of their kith and kin who suffered. After this enlightening visit we went to the souvenir shop and bought many things to help the Museum.
After this peep into the past I wondered if partition was really worth it. These days’ person from both, India and Pakistan hate each other but were this hatred born inside the heads of common people or was it introduced to the people by leaders from both the countries? Were the wars between the two countries due to hatred among the people or hatred among the leaders? These questions and answers can only be found in history of the two great nations. While leaders make decisions common people suffer.