Speakers highlight need to create awareness among people about actual happenings of October 22 events by building counter narratives
SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 22: A two-day national symposium-cum-exhibition on “Memories of 22 October 1947” organized by the National Museum Institute of History of Art, Conservation & Museology (NMI) of Ministry of Culture concluded here today in which speakers deliberated on various aspects and chronology of the historical event.
Raghvendra Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Government of India and Prof Manvi Seth, Dean, National Museum Institute, New Delhi were present on the occasion.
The speakers highlighted the significance of October 22 by commemorating the people who sacrificed their lives to defend Kashmir and its people. They emphasized for the need to make people aware about the actual happenings by bringing forth counter narratives.
The seminar discussed narratives peddled since last seven decades which had obfuscated the real happenings and speakers also presented firsthand stories of the survivors and the main players involved in the October 22, 1947 event.
The speakers called for holding such events and seminars more often so that common people would be made aware of the glorious sacrifices given by J&K people and the army to defend Kashmir and its people. .
Many of the prominent speakers including leading academicians, historians, defence personnel and scholars presented their ideas and concept papers on this subject.
On the first day of the symposium of Thursday, Prof Amitabh Mattoo spoke in memory of Maqbool Sherwani who laid down his life while stalling the advance of tribal invaders to Srinagar. Other prominent speakers on first day of symposium were Sushant Sareen, Prof Kapil Kumar, Prof Raghuvendra Tanwar whereas Maroof Raza and Iqbal Chand Malhotra joined the symposium through webcast.
On the second day of symposium on Friday, some well-known speakers like Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain (Retd), Lt. General Gurmeet Singh (Retd), Lt Gen PJS Pannu (Retd), Dr Ramesh Tamiri, Dr Mukulita Vijayawargiya, Sh Ashutosh, Prof Dipankar Sengupta, Maj Gen Devnesh Agnihotri (Retd) spoke at length while as a message written by Maj Gen SV Thapiyal (Retd) was also read on the occasion who couldn’t attend the symposium.
Presentations made at the symposium threw light on a variety of pertinent topics focussing on sacrifice of Maqbool Sherwani, role of Indian Air Force, template of terrorism, battles fought for the destiny of J&K, role of Indian army in the defence of Kashmir, contesting of narratives, Pakistani invasion of J&K, British role in invasion, Rashomon gambit: delegitimizing rival narratives on accession. The session also witnessed question-answer modules where several questions were posed to the speakers who replied to the queries.
Besides this, the speakers also shared several firsthand stories and accounts of people who were uprooted from their native places by invaders.
The speakers highlighted the role of Indian army and the then JK Militia who valiantly kept the invaders at bay from reaching Srinagar and subsequently pushed them back.
They discussed Pakistan army’s ‘Operation Gulmarg’ which was a result of months of planning and involvement of the then topmost military and political leadership of Pakistan.
On the occasion, the eminent academicians, researchers and distinguished personalities presented their papers and presentations on various subjects related to the 1947 events during concluding session of the symposium.
The speakers complimented the organizers, National Museum Institute New Delhi and convenor of the symposium Prof Manvi Seth for organizing the event and said it was a first serious attempt to deliberate upon the records and historical facts of the event on October 22, 1947.
Besides, the exhibition held on the sidelines of the symposium depicted – The Treaty of Lahore, The Treaty of Amritsar, The Popular Will of 1947, Economic Blockade of Kashmir, 1947- Towards Accession, The Invaders Backed by Pakistan, Pakistani Militia Leaders, Plunder in Muzaffarabad, Baramulla, The Church Attack, Maqbool Sherwani, the Hero of Baramulla, Instrument of Accession, Key Dates, The Gilgit Game, People’s Militia etc.