Dehradun: 31 August, 2015
It isn't often that one sees posters of 'Bharat mata' inside a map of India or a sign of 'Go Back Simon' put up on walls these days. But that really is the idea, says Surabhi Agarwal, owner of Mussoorie Heritage Centre. "I want to generate that interest in people about the Independence struggle and how Mussoorie was a part of it all, in it's own way."
Agarwal has organized an exhibition, 'Mussoorie during the Freedom Movement' showcasing letters, photographs and newspaper clippings from 1857, when the first war of Indian independence, or the Indian mutiny took place, to 1947, when India attained freedom, and what role different parts of the state played in the freedom struggle.
The exhibition showcases the effect of the 1857 upheaval in North India on Landour and Mussoorie, the 1920's externment of Jawahar Lal Nehru from Dehradun district and the effect of the Salt Satyagrah and Khilafat movement on parts of the hill state.
That is not all. One gets to see photographs of Mahatma Gandhi at a prayer meeting in the Sylvertone Ground, Nehru riding a horse on the streets of Mussoorie, or information on how the local freedom hero, Jagannath Sharma, then a student of class VIII in Ghananand Inter College hoisted the first ever tricolor in Mussoorie. There are also memorabilia on how Mahtama Gandhi's intervention allowed people of all castes in the temple in Landour in Mussoorie, or how the Waverly convent school housed many British families in 1857.
Then there are the stories of unsung local freedom fighters, the visits of Indian National Leaders, like Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and their effect on the town, the celebration of India's freedom in Mussoorie. Sepia tinted pictures, old letters, newspapers, all add a touch of pride and history, one that Mussooriites are lapping up.
In fact, the exhibition, which began on August 16 and was to go on till September, will now be extended till the end of October, thanks to the buzz it has created. "I wanted the exhibition to not just be limited to August 15 when we all suddenly talk of patriotism and then let that feeling subside. Our leaders fought hard for our freedom and this exhibition is just a small effort to make one feel proud of our heritage. Interestingly, the wave of Independence also overtook this little hill town and I just wanted to showcase that," Agarwal says.
Courtesy: Times Of India