Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reliving history

There is a rare exhibition of letters and documents on display in Chandigarh, since Sunday. A collection of original letters, manuscripts and books belonging to the pre-independence era of India's freedom struggle.

On display is the death warrant of freedom fighter, Bhagat Singh, a letter written by the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab prohibiting Mahatma Gandhi from entering Punjab, a confidential letter about breaking the Salt Law at Bhiwani and lots more.

Now you might question the relevance of displaying documents that don't matter anymore. After all, Wikileaks is definitely more exciting than history! But just the idea of being able to see original records and tangibles used at a time you weren't even born in, is fascinating to me. It's like using a time machine.

The period of the freedom movement is an era gone by, but an era that is dearly cherished by the older generation (especially my grandma) and an era that holds a certain fascination for my generation. It's sometimes difficult to understand the passion with which septuagenarians speak of India and its freedom struggle. And that's mainly because we are quite detached and distant from the incidents that happened at the time.

Now, I don't have a time machine and I don't see another H.G. Wells in the making, so perhaps this is the best way to experience it. A great opportunity for history enthusiasts, or for others just fascinated, like I :)


  1. Absolutly right ira, history has always been fasicnating in a way it teaches you a alot. And you been lucky to enjoy the tangibles of that golden era.
    Photographs, letters, videos of history always excite me.
    Iwould like to share something with you. Though it is not but yes realted to this. I hope you going to like it.


    This is a documentory of my freind's grand paa. he passed away last year. I always enjoyed chatting with him about history. There are many things in life that money can buy but few are priceless.:)

  2. Thank you Nitin :) It'd be interesting to have a long chat with you about history sometime. And where did your friend's grandpa find these pictures/videos used in the documentary?

  3. Yeh sure ira, would love to share some knowledge and gain more knowledge from you ;);). Dadaji was a freedom fighter. Most of the pictures were collected by him only. At sometime he was a part of the moment (like the group photographs), and others r from newspapers (of neta ji and all) but all the pictures, cuttings, articles are 60-70 years old which were preserved by him so that gives the feel of history.. and the potraits of gandhiji,netaji,swami vivekanad in the documntry are self drawn. Independence videos have been borrowed from internet .


Please leave your comment here