People from all strata of society are visiting the newly-opened Liberation War Museum in Agargaon which offers a detailed and rich history of liberation war through displaying over 1000 photographs and other items in four galleries.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the new museum building in Agargaon on Sunday which comprises four galleries, auditorium, library, research centre, a temporary gallery, amphitheatre, office space, archive and lab.
Previously the museum operated at a private building in Segunbagicha for 21 years and it could not display a lot of artifacts due to lack of space. The new museum building has nine floors - three basements and six floors - with a display space of 1,85,000 sqft.
‘The museum possesses around 20,000 artifacts in total. Initially we have tried to present the history of liberation war by arranging minimum possible artifacts in four galleries in such a way so that a visitor can see all the displays in 45 minutes and get an idea about the liberation war’, said Ziauddin Tariq Ali, trustee and member secretary of the museum.
When visiting the museum this correspondent saw crowds thronging the galleries.
Visitors praised the way the artifacts have been displayed. Kariman Nesa, wife of a freedom fighter, who came with her son, said, ‘The museum is like a book on the liberation war’.
An aircraft used in the liberation war and bronze sculptures of founding president of the country Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and four national leaders Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed, Captain (rtd) Mansur Ali and AHM Quamruzzaman welcome visitors at the entrance.
The four galleries of the museum narrate the history of liberation war in four stages - from the war’s initial days to liberation of the country on December 16, 1971.
The first gallery named Our Heritage Our Struggle provides visitors with a brief historical background of the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta by displaying terracotta artifacts, map of undivided Bengal, photographs of historical and archeological sites with information and photographs of major political events from British era to 1970s election.
The second gallery named Our Rights Our Sacrifices shows different political events, upheavals, participation and sacrifices by people prior to the liberation war.
The gallery displays a copy of the Proclamation of Independence of Bangladesh, photographs of formation and oath-taking of historical Mujibnagar Government in Meherpur. Memorabilia like clothes, notebooks, diaries, spectacles, pipes, wallets, utensils and others items used by historic figures like Tajuddin Ahmed, martyrs Jyotindranath Guhathakurta, Madhusudan Dey and many others.
A dim-lighted room at the gallery displays photographs of Operation Searchlight showing atrocities by the Pakistan Army on the fateful night of March 25, 1971. The photographs show innocent people lying dead on the streets.
The third gallery named Our Battles Our Friends depicts the events during the liberation war including life at different refugee camps in India.
Photographs depicting people’s plights at refugee camps are displayed at the entrance. A displayed tally shows an astounding number of 98, 99, 305 refugees who took shelter at 828 camps in India.
The gallery also shows photographs of cultural activists performing at different refugee and training camps, posters, memorabilia of freedom fighters, photographs and paper cuttings of coverage of the war by the international media and others.
The last gallery named Our Victory Our Values display photographs, documents, weapons used in the war and memorabilia depicting the last days of the liberation war.
Sharmin Ahmed, who came to the museum with her friends, said, ‘The galleries are informative and have been set up in a well organised way. Visiting the museum has been a great learning experience for me.’
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