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.
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;
Amit Chaudhuri – acclaimed English writer, classical singer, and urban activist;
Abhijit Pathak – Chartered Accountant, ‘Mookherjee Biswas & Pathak’;
Neelina Chatterjee – Advocate, ‘ANS Associates’.
AIMS & OBJECTIVES OF KPM: as per the KPM TRUST DEED
(Sec 4.1.1 – ‘Purposes’)
i. to memorialise the specificity of Bengal’s Partition history and its aftermath
ii. to archive oral histories of survivors and pool together already existing resources concerning Partition from educational institutions and elsewhere
iii. to emphasize the continuities between West Bengal and Bangladesh – in terms of language and literature, food, fabric, and the performing arts
iv. to encourage collaboration between West Bengal and Bangladesh in different spheres and felicitate those who contribute towards India’s dialogue with Bangladesh
v. to involve public participation in its programs and gear all its activities in a way that makes it more accessible and interesting to the public at large
vi. to provide and operate a cultural centre and a partition museum where the history of partition of Bengal may be conserved, interpreted, studied, cherished and made available for the benefit of the people of the country
vii. to encourage, promote and support the dissemination of education and information about the partition of erstwhile Bengal by promoting and supporting the Museum both directly and through building business and community support
viii. to collect, purchase or otherwise acquire the collection of objects that fit within the criteria from time to time specified in the Museum’s policy documents and which are directly connected with and/or had a bearing on Bengal’s partition
ix. to stimulate the community’s appreciation and understanding of the history of partition, its aftermath and afterlives by holding exhibitions and public programs; and the efficient management and integration of its collections and resources
x. to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Bengal
xi. to use the resources of the museum to further enrich the cultural life of Kolkata
xii. to exercise leadership through professionalism, innovation and co-ordination with relevant organizations
xiii. to support other individuals, groups and organizations with similar objectives.
The Trust hopes to get both public and corporate support to attain the above objectives.