WW-I expo to bring subcontinent together; opens in Delhi tomorrow

WW-I expo to bring subcontinent together; opens in Delhi tomorrow
A cannon that would be part of exhibits on display
The centenary commemorations of World War-I (1914-18) will showcase the subcontinental heritage of what was once British India -- now divided into countries, separated in some cases by hostile borders. A five-day exhibition to mark 100 years of the war opens at the Manekshaw Convention Centre in Delhi Cantonment on March 10.
It will showcase the role of men from the subcontinent -- India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh -- in fighting the war in faraway Europe, Africa and West Asia. Organised by the Indian Army, the commemoration will be a mark of respect to all those who died, irrespective of which modern-day country their progeny now live in.
On March 9, a day before the exhibition opens, an event will create a history of sorts. President Pranab Mukherjee will lay a wreath at the India Gate.
Joining him in honouring the martyrs will be diplomats from  Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, UK and  France.
 It will be probably for the first time in recent decades that a Pakistani diplomat has been invited to an Indian military function at the iconic India Gate.
 On March 10, the exhibition will open. It will have busts of all the 11 Victoria Cross winners (gallantry awardees), including the three who went to Pakistan in 1947 and two others who hailed from Nepal.  “In 1914, there was no Pakistan. We had fought alongside the British. It makes sense to have the busts of even those who became Pakistani nationals after the creation of two separate countries,” a senior officer explained.
The opening day of the exhibition coincides with the ‘Battle of Neuve Chapelle’ marking the British offensive in the Artois region of France in which the Garhwal Brigade and  Meerut Division of the British Indian Corps participated. About 15 lakh Indian soldiers fought in the war and over 74,000 died.
The President will inaugurate the exhibition that will be open to the general public on three days -- March 11 to 13 -- with special permission being given to school and college students.
The exhibition  will  highlight how the ‘Great War’ was fought and won, its impact on the lives of Indian soldiers on the frontline and at home. It will showcase 13 campaigns, wartime weapons and equipment, memorabilia and various artifacts. 
A ‘Corner of Remembrance’ in the exhibition will have old letters; an old home in neglect with the belongings of soldiers, giving a feeling of anxiousness of the families waiting for their sons to return home.
 The ‘Sacrifice Hall’ will include replicas of the Amar Jawan Jyoti, Indian memorials, busts and paintings of Victoria Cross winners in India and abroad. 
The outdoor exhibits will give a glimpse of the dress, equipment, bunkers, guns and a replica of Brighton Hospital.
The miniature Brighton Hospital will depict the treatment and the trauma that the Indian soldiers went through. 
A dynamic band display by the Indian Army brass and pipe bands will also be conducted as part of the mega event.
On the opening day, Chief of the Indian Army General Dalbir Singh Suhag will briefly highlight the role and sacrifices of the Indian soldiers during the great war.  The President will release a commemorative first day cover and hand over the first day cover to the Army Chief. 
The same day, the Vice-Chief of the Indian Army, Lt Gen Philip Campose, will flag off a veterans' run.
A flame ‘Heritage Torch’ will be carried from the Commonwealth War Cemetery, Brar Square, to Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantt.  The last veteran runner will be Honorary Captain Bana Singh (retd), a Param Vir Chakra (PVC) awardee. He will hand over the ‘Heritage Torch’ to the President for lighting the symbolic ‘Flame of Remembrance’.
Source: http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/ww-i-expo-to-bring-subcontinent-together-opens-in-delhi-tomorrow/51140.html


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