The Kolkata Partition Museum Project was conceived by Rituparna Roy in early 2016.
Initially inspired by the Holocaust Memorials of Berlin and working on the project as an independent scholar, she first formally broached the idea in an International Conference (commemorating 70 years of Partition) that she co-convened with Prof. Sekhar Bandyopadhyay and Dr. Jayanta Sengupta in August 2016 at the Indian Museum, Kolkata. An Affiliated Fellowship at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden, during this phase (July 2017 – June 2018) proved valuable as a networking platform.
By August 2018, Roy was able to gather support for the project from a wide cross-section of people in different fields who were invested in Partition and heritage in varying ways, and got together a team which formed the TRUST for the project.
When India was partitioned in 1947 at the end of British colonial rule on its western and eastern borders, the brunt of it was borne by Punjab and Bengal. But Partition did not mean the same thing for these two provinces. Unlike Punjab, the aftermath of Partition in India was a protracted one for West Bengal, which impoverished the state and radicalized its politics. And the afterlives of Partition are felt to this day along the borderland. Unfortunately, the Bengal experience has never got its due. The Kolkata Partition Museum Project (KPMP) aims to fill this lacuna.
KPMP is dedicated to memorialize, in the most comprehensive way, the specificity of Bengal’s Partition history and its aftermath; to emphasize the continuities between West Bengal and Bangladesh – in terms of language and literature, food, fabric, and the performing arts – and to encourage collaboration between them. And it aims to do so by involving public participation in its programs and gearing all its activities in a way that makes it more accessible and interesting to the public at large.
There are two sides to the Partition – rupture and continuity. Our project seeks to remember both.
The rupture has been well recorded in history and represented in art, literature and films. But the public memorialisation of Partition took seven decades to happen. We now stand at a critical moment in this evolution. Read more >>
Compared to the rupture of the political division, the quiet continuities in Bengali life – our common living heritage – has not been emphasized enough. Fabric, food, song, language and literature – there is still much that binds the two Bengals. Read more >>
Board of Trustees
The KPM TRUST was Registered on 20 August 2018.
The TRUST members include:
Rituparna Roy (Managing Trustee) – Partition scholar;
Jayanta Sengupta – Secretary & Curator, Victoria Memorial Hall;
Tapati Guha-Thakurta – Professor of History, Centre for Social Science Studies, Patuli;
Abhijit Pathak – Chartered Accountant, ‘Mookherjee Biswas & Pathak’;
Neelina Chatterjee – Advocate, ‘ANS Associates’.F
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- https://www.telegraphindia.com/opinion/partition-of-india-memories-for-the-future/cid/1802775– (6 Jan 2020)
- https://refugeewatchonline.wordpress.com/2020/11/18/the-partition-of-bengal-and-its-silent-aftermath-an-interview-with-rituparna-roy/ – (19 Nov 2020)
- https://refugeewatchonline.wordpress.com/2020/09/28/artists-interpretation-of-the-great-divide-and-its-aftermath-a-report/ – (29 Sept 2020)
- https://bengalgazette.org/2020/09/02/chronicling-the-search-for-a-home-in-post-partition-west-bengal-2/ – (2 Sept 2020)
- https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=10157422322873232&set=a.10151617143943232 – (21 Aug 2019), Ei Samay
- https://www.dhakatribune.com/showtime/2019/08/18/partition-of-bengal-revisited-through-films-from-bangladesh-and-india – (18 Aug 201)
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- https://www.facebook.com/KPMProject/photos/a.642573476184713/740800933028633/ – (14 Aug 2019), Aaj Kaal-‘baranda’
- https://bengali.indianexpress.com/general-news/kolkata-partition-museum-project-initiated-by-rituparna-roy-81054/ – (3 March 2019)