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1 January 1798 - Anglo Sikh Wars

“Memory dilutes, but the object remains unaltered.” (Aanchal Malhotra, Remnants of a Separation: A History of the Partition through Material Memory)

Historians have typically privileged documents and written records of the past over the other non-verbal sources of information. Documents, however, do not touch the lives of thousands of men, women and children whose lives had been affected as a result of the grand events of the past such as the Anglo Sikh Wars. Artefacts and possessions often act as repositories of memories, silently storing the experiences of the past within them. The Anglo Sikh Wars Exhibition will gradually dust the layers off to unearth the stories of the past by focusing on the alternate sources such as objects, stories, diaries, paintings, photographs, memorabilia, monuments and ruins.

The Anglo Sikh Wars were a series of battles fought between the British East India Trading Company along with the British Empire and the Sikh Empire in the region of Punjab. The two wars lasted from 1845-1846 and 1848-49 in the region of Punjab in the Indian subcontinent. The nine battles, fought in different locations throughout the territory, are remembered for the bravery and military prowess of the soldiers.

The online exhibit will focus on a variety of artefacts such as the weapons of the British and the Sikh Empires, War Medals, paintings, sketches, treaties, photographs, monuments, memorials and stories of some unsung warriors such as Maharani Sada Kaur Ji  and the British soldier Shifting the camera’s gaze will assist us in re-viewing history and presenting the stories of the past through a different lens. Through this re-telling of the past, the attempt is to develop a new, more humane, understanding of history by studying its effects on common people in the past and at present instead of looking at it as divorced grand events that took place a few decades ago.

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