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Posted at: Nov 9, 2018, 1:56 AM; last updated: Nov 9, 2018, 1:56 AM (IST)

Coins, stamps to be released to mark Jallianwala centenary

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 8

Special commemorative coins and postage stamps would be released to mark 100 years of the April 13, 1919, Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

A light and sound show, based on virtual reality, which has been defunct for the past four years, will be revived. This was decided by members of the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust during its meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Thursday. Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Culture and Tourism Mehesh Sharma, Rajya Sabha member Shwait Malik and Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore attended the meeting.

Talking to The Tribune, Rajya Sabha member Shwait Malik said the proposal was discussed at length, besides other infrastructural upgrade requirements for the park.

“It has been proposed that coins and postal stamps will be introduced to inculcate a feeling of patriotism during the centenary. Another proposal is to introduce programmes like 7-D documentary, depicting the massacre and its real-time feel through a light and sound show. Special cultural activities such as ‘kavi sammelans’, plays, exhibitions and seminars dedicated to Jallianwala Bagh will be conducted separately across the country,” he said.

Lying defunct since 2014, the 52-minute-long light-and-sound show portrayed the April 13, 1919, massacre of freedom fighters at Jallianwala Bagh with Amitabh Bachchan’s voiceover and was a hit among the visitors.

Similarly, the showcase of an 18-minute documentary through a projector daily in seven shows at a 50-seat hall at the park, too, has been discontinued for long. The software and lens used for the show is learnt to have developed a technical snag, which could not be revived to date.

The Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust, which is responsible for the park’s upkeep, runs under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister. Union Minister Arun Jaitley had included Jallianwala Bagh in the list of heritage sites. Admitting the delay and flaws, Malik said the Centre had authorised trust members to revive it.

“To improve infrastructure, funds have been adequately spared for public conveniences. In our futuristic planning, several century-old buildings around the Bagh too would be purchased to improve and expand the facade of the park. The blueprint is going to be prepared soon. There is also a proposal to increase the timing of visit to the bagh. Presently, it closes before sunset. Now, we will let it stay open till 11 pm,” he said.

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