Author: Amrit Kaur Singh
Rabindra Kaur Singh/
Publisher: Indialog Publications
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8187981350
This art-paper volume is a visual narration of India’s journey through her freedom struggle, to the dawn of Independence and the Partition. This collection of 50 printed pictures in this book shows the dreamers and martyrs who made it possible for each of us to live and breathe in a free India.
This publication looks at some of the popular printed images that emerged from this significant period in a detailed, academic or comprehensive account of India’s Freedom movement (indeed many of the images post date Independence in 1947) but rather to give some insight into the range of related themes being produced on the subject, largely during the 1930s, 40s, 50s, but also through more contemporary examples which illustrate the continuing potency of this art from as a collective medium of expression for Indian sentiment at particular periods in time.
Selected from a private archive established between 1990 and 1997, most of the images come from a set of bound albums comprising some 500 samples on mixed themes. The 50 that are reproduced here, reflect the kind of ratio of style, thymes and printed formats pertaining to the subject of India's freedom struggle or related topics.
Bearing in mind that this is essentially a book about the art of popular imagery and not an academic account of India's freedom movement, the selection also seeks to highlight what the collection tells us about the trends, character and development of the mass-picture production industry.
The images chosen for the book also include samples which signify the ongoing importance that certain themes pertaining to India's freedom struggle continue to have in linking the past with the present, through a marking of events which changed the course of history and celebrate pride in a national identity born from sacrifice and gained through collective achievement.
Here is all the stuff of popular Indian theatre and its overdramatic gesture and exaggeration complete with mythic overtones. Bose riding the seven-horse chariot of the Sun-God or Gandhi guiding the chariot of the Mahabharata. Gandhi ascending to the heavens in a winged vahana or vehicle as his own pyre is lit beneath. Baba Deep Singh continuing his battle with his cut head in his hand. Kashmiri pandits seeking the intervention of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji for Justice. Bose on his knees seeking the sword from Bharat Mata. All in bold dramatic poses that people who watch the Ramlila are used to. People fed for centuries on images of millions of gods and goddesses, and their dramatic vahanas.
Amrit and Rabindra Kaur Singh
LIST OF PLATES
Revival and Reinterpretation of
Old Role Models, Heroes and
Prominent Leaders and Heroes of
the Independence Movement
Freedom is Our Birthright
Consequences and Aftermath of
the Freedom Movement
EXPLANATORY NOTES FOR IMAGE
CAPTIONS AND ABBREVIATIONS