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Exhibition brings pre-Independence India back at ICCR

Kolkata: A unique exhibition, displaying various items that had been produced between 1905 and 1947, is underway at ICCR to commemorate 75 years of the Quit India movement.
The exhibition has been organised by Virasat Art Publication, Reflection of Another Day (RAD) comprising a group of contemporary painters and artists and Ayatakhetra, a Bengali journal.
There have been seminars and discussions titled Revisiting '42. Twenty two collectors have joined the exhibition with their rare collection of Swadeshi goods.
Several small factories came up, selling Swadeshi goods after Lord Curzon's proposal to partition Bengal in 1905. These factories produced household items like matchsticks, ink, pressure cookers and fountain pens, etc.
Through these items, advertisements were given to buy Indian goods. Well-known collector Ananda Mukhopadhyay has bought a family cooker and Ekmic cooker. These pressure cookers became household names in Bengal.
Apurba Panda has bought various items made of porcelain, which were produced in Indian factories during the period. The household items made of porcelain attracted the visitors.
The exhibition, which started on January 16, will continue till January 20 between 3 pm and 8 pm. Debashis Mukhopadhyay has come up with a large collection of booklets of the cinemas that were made in pre-Independence India.
The visitors can have an idea of the kind of books, which the freedom fighters put up in various jails, including those who were kept in the Cellular jail in Andaman, used to study.
The police used to seize these books but despite their best efforts, the freedom fighters managed to get some of them. Advertisements printed on enamel have been given by renowned collector Parimal Roy.
A history of transportation and the evolution of national flags were two important areas in the exhibition.
The matchbox labels, containing the photographs of Gopal Krishna Gokhale or Lala Lajpat Rai, were printed to counter the foreign-made matchboxes that had the photographs of Queen Victoria or the Governor Generals and Viceroys.
A documentary made by Aurora Films on August 15, 1947 was shown in the exhibition.

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