70th anniversary of Attari-Wagah border on Oct 11


AmritsarPosted at: Oct 10, 2017, 1:00 AM; last updated: Oct 10, 2017, 1:00 AM (IST)AT PARTITION MUSEUM

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 9

On the 70th anniversary of the drawing of the Attari-Wagah border, the untold story of how the border was drawn on October 11, 1947, will unfold at Partition Museum here on October 11.
Besides, a discussion on how it continues to impact those living along it today, will also be held.
The Arts and Literature Festival of Amritsar (ALFA) under the aegis of Partition Museum will present an event, “Borders: Drawing the Line”.
The CEO of Partition Museum, Mallika Ahluwalia, said that seventy years ago, the outline of the Wagah border was officially drawn when Brig Mohindar Singh Chopra assumed command of the 123 Infantry Brigade in Amritsar on October 8, 1947. He realised though there was a general sense of where the border was from Radcliffe Line, no exact boundary line had been demarcated.
Where exactly did GT road leave India and enter Pakistan? He reached out to his Pakistani counterpart, who, as luck would have it, was a friend who had served in the same regiment with him till a few months before in the undivided Army.
Together on October 11,1947, almost two months after Independence and after the announcement of Radcliffe Line, they met at the notional boundary, and using a “few hastily white-washed drums and a rubble of stones put along the berms of GT road” marked the international border.
On the 70th anniversary of the day this border was drawn, the world’s first Partition Museum in Town Hall, Amritsar, is hosting an event where Brigadier Chopra’s son, Pushpindar Singh Chopra, will recall his father’s experience of drawing the border, and also recount how Brigadier Chopra was also involved with the Sylhet referendum in 1947, which determined the border in Bengal. Rarely seen photographs from October 11, 1947, will be displayed.
He said author Bishwanath Ghosh would speak about his recently released book, “Gazing at Neighbours: Travels Along the Line that Partitioned India” (published by Westland). His book, which is as much a travelogue as a historical stocktaking, interviews people living along the borders in Punjab, Bengal and the North-East and reflects on how this border continues to impact those living along it 70 years later.

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