Opening of Galleries is a harbinger of good tidings - opening of a new door in a museum, a new addition to our knowledge store. Artifacts are history's precious moments. History beckons them.

We have our great National Museum at Shahbag which demonstrates, among others, a Mig21 fighter bomber used by India against the marauding Pakistan Army in 1971 war. There is also an Indian tank in front of the museum for public view. In the far away from City Centre at the new city of Serebangla Nagar we have our redoubtable Liberation War Museum (LWM) which hosts hundreds of war memorials reminding us of those glorious days of war and peace. India lost about 4000 Jawans with a sprinkling of a sizable number of officers.

Many of us, particularly the freedom fighters, who made some financial contribution to Liberation War Museum when it was notched up in a small beautiful area of Segunbagicha have been honored by the Museum!

Tuesday, May 30, 2023 was a very special day for Bangladesh. Like myriad other events, the Indian High Commission in Dhaka presented us with a big surprise: this time it is nothing short of a Liberation War Gallery. A small ceremony was organized attended by Hon'ble Home Minister Minister Asaduzzaman Khan MP as chief guest. High Commissioner Pranay Verma was the guiding spirit of the whole show. The Gallery started with a modest number but qualitatively each one is unique and special. I understand the High Commission is going to contribute more in physical shape more so in digital formation! Freedom fighters, citizens of Bangladesh look eagerly forward for more.

At a time when the war was fought, three million people died for their motherland and four hundred thousands women gave their honor (Susan Brownmiller in Against Our Will). At Tuesday's function only freedom fighters were invited. The Indian High Commission may like to initiate a program where interested persons in War of Liberation can visit the museum particularly one day in a week.

Paris is a city of Museums. Louvre on the Seine is known to be one of the best in the world. It houses from Leonardo da Vinci's Monalisa and Venus de Milo to even a simpler painting. When one goes London one sees a variety of Museums, majority are the exploits of the British Raj. I would have expected to see the exploits of British raj including murder, mayhem and pillage perpetrated by them in India for 190 years! Churchill's Bengal Famine in early 1940s took three and half million Bengalees. When Churchill was beseeched to send some support for the starving Bengalees, the British Prime Minister wrote on the margin, "hasn't Gandhi died yet"!

I believe India has the potential to build museums of various chimes. A great country like India has potential and spirit of various ages. The cruel British did not allow the Last Emperor to be buried in India. He was sent to Rangoon. He wanted a piece of paper and a piece of land. The British did not oblige. We have seen the British cruelty and Indian humility. History of museum or gallery is the history of human civilization.

Writer: Researcher and Columnist

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts