October, November, December 2021
Dear Reader,
In our last newsletter of the year we bring you exciting tidings!

  • A short course specially designed for teachers by philosopher and author, Sundar Sarukkai.

  • An event in the physical world, at long lastan open house for teachers, in collaboration with Ghare Baire, DAG.

  • A workshop series for teachers and students based on our module, Pandemics: Historical Vignettes, to demonstrate ways to translate and practically implement the resource in the classroom.

Three fresh teaching/learning resources:

  • Witness to Loss: S.L. Parasher's Partition Line Drawings, a classroom module drawing from a talk delivered by Prajna Parasher followed by a conversation between Prajna Parasher and Aloka Parasher, early this year.

  • The Preamble: A Brief Introduction—A Classroom Module. This is a collaborative classroom module brought to you by Alternative Law Forum and History for Peace.

  • Art of Looking: A classroom resource to encourage students and teachers to engage with art critically, creatively and contextually.

Three research papers along with classroom activity ideas, developed from talks delivered as part of our Political Partitions: Human Stories series, hosted between September 2020 and February 2021.

Miscellaneous teaching and learning resources of topical interest ranging from the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre to Durga Pujo in the 'This & That' segment.

Finally, a window into our recently completed pilot of the Ladakh-Bengal Education Exchange project, a collaboration with Achi Association, India that gave us the wonderful opportunity to work with themes of critical concern to the present social fabric, with students from Ladakh and Kolkata.
Coming Soon

Teaching Thinking has increasingly become a core goal of education. This aspect of teaching is also emphasized in NEP and many new universities in India compulsorily teach aspects of critical thinking for their students. But what is it to teach thinking?

In this short course, we will explore some practical ways of teaching thinking. We will begin by first understanding the nature of thinking, the different types of thinking, the relationship between thinking and language, and other related topics. We will look at different ways by which we can teach each of these different types of thinking. The course will be held over three days, for two hours each. Each session will have breakout groups which will work together on some practical aspects of implementing the ideas that we discuss in the workshop. Each group will have a facilitator who will help direct the discussion. 

Registration details:

Open to all school teachers and teachers in-training.

Registration: Rs. 1000/-; for B.Ed students: Rs. 500/-

Last date for registration: 18 October 2021.

Note: Participants will receive a certificate on completing the 3-day course.
Founder of the Barefoot Philosophers initiative (www.barefootphilosophers.org), Sundar Sarukkai’s works primarily in the realm of philosophy of natural and social sciences. He is the author of Translating the World: Science and Language, Philosophy of Symmetry, Indian Philosophy and Philosophy of Science, What is Science? and two books co-authored with Gopal Guru – The Cracked Mirror: An Indian Debate on Experience and Theory and most recently Experience, Caste and the Everyday Social. His book titled JRD Tata and the Ethics of Philanthropy was published in July 2020.

Sundar Sarukkai is the Co-Chief Editor of the Springer Handbook of Logical Thought in India, the Series Editor for the Science and Technology Studies Series, Routledge, and editorial advisory member of Leonardo as well as Marg. Sarukkai was a professor of philosophy at the National Institute of Advanced Studies till 2019 and was the Founder-Director of the Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities where he set up an innovative interdisciplinary postgraduate program. He has been actively taking philosophy to different communities and places, conducting philosophy workshops for children and bringing philosophy to the public through his writing in the media. His forthcoming book 'Philosophy for Children' will be published in English and other languages.

Open House at the Museum!
A Ghare Baire DAG and History for Peace collaboration
Pandemics: Historical Vignettes
A workshop series for school teachers and students
Image courtesy: edwin hooper-unsplash
We will be opening registrations for this course via email and our social media platforms on 18 October, 2021.

This global pandemic has almost caught us all unaware. This ‘us’ includes governments and public health departments of countries across the spectrum. The public health infrastructure of some of the most developed countries in Europe crashed as the number of cases spiked from early March. This global unpreparedness and the tremendous cost of it in terms of deaths caused by medical negligence makes one wonder why public health crises do not feature in our history books. Why is it almost totally absent from the popular consciousness?

Our Latest Educational Resources
Witness to Loss:
S.L. Parasher's Partition Line Drawings
A classroom module
Small Comfort, Image Courtesy: Parasher Archive
Parasher's Partition Sketches are [ . . . ] that rare transitional item that flows directly from the immediacy of his experience in a transit camp in 1947 to our experience in 2021 trying to imagine hopelessness and despair, of the lives which have given us our own, of a time where everything which was dependable had been ruptured and nothing of the future could be imagined. The very fragility of these pieces—they are largely on scraps of available paper—is testament to the nearly impossible journey they have made from that moment to this one. Unlike written records, scant as those are, and unlike recreations such as film, these sketches are a constant, as real now as they were in the muddy, fly strewn and exhausted moments of their creation.

In February 2021, we had the wonderful fortune of hosting, as part of our Political Partitions: Human Stories series, an illustrated talk on the artist S.L. Parasher. Delivered by the artist's daughter Prajna Parasherfilmmaker, scholar and multimedia artist, the talk was followed by an insightful conversation between the speaker and her sister, historian Aloka Parasher-Sen. This evocative session gave us the foundation to develop a teaching/learning module based on these same fragile art pieces, towards bringing nuance to our understandings and memorialization of Partition.
Partition Series:
Research Papers and Classroom Activities

Last year, History for Peace organized a series of talks on the theme of Political Partitions: Human Stories, with the intent to look at lived experiences of Partition and their expressions in literature and art, as well as to draw into the classroom those narratives of partition that are often excluded from the 1947-Punjab-focused perspective embodied in school syllabi across India.

We now bring to you the research along with classroom activity ideas developed by our wonderful team of interns, taking off from four talks from the Partitions series.

Some Facts and Perspectives on the Partition, Suchandra Bose
Amrita Pritam and the Pain of the Partition, Sanjukta Bose

Lost in Transition: Narratives of Non-Existence, Puja Bose
Partitioning Women in the World of Men: A Study of Qurratulain Hyder's Works, Diptarka Datta
We are currently working on developing a comprehensive teaching/learning module from this entire series and hope to share them with you very soon, along with the research papers from the remaining talks in the Partitions series. Until then, we'd love to hear what ideas these research papers invoke in you!
The Preamble: A Brief Introduction
A Classroom Resource
We bring you a classroom module developed by Mayukhi Ghosh for History for Peace in collaboration with Alternative Law Forum. This classroom module has been drawn from an Alternative Law Forum resource, Preamble - A Brief Introduction, and offers you an interactive classroom-friendly framework to engage your students with the Preamble to the Indian Constitution closely and critically.

'The Constitution of India has become a popular tool in protests and is often introduced by enthusiastic dissidents in protest marches or by politicians to substantiate a point in fervent debates. This resurgence of interest in the Constitution is emblematic of a constitutional vision of the nationthe India our Constituent Assembly envisioned when drafting the Constitution. 

The Preamble embodies the ethos of the nation and encompasses values that define India. This module seeks to understand these values by establishing the Preamble as a product of struggle, analyzing the documents that were precursors to the Constitution and by studying the Preamble as interpreted by the Supreme Court and Popular movements. It is designed to make students understand the evolving nature of the Constitution by allowing them to place themselves in the shoes of the Constituent Assembly. 

Freedom, Justice and Rights are nuanced subjects and the module seeks to help students comprehend such nuances. Understanding, respecting and internalising the values codified in the Preamble allows students to wield the power bestowed upon them by the Constitution as citizens.'

Art of Looking
Engaging with Art Critically, Creatively and Contextually

Looking at art is not a straight-forward process involving sight only, but is imbued with our individual definitions of art, based on what we have consumed through our lives, and the ways in which we relate to institutions and authorities on art. These ways of looking at, and engaging with art, are influenced by historical processes, helping us categorize it in certain ways. 

This resource is an introduction into ways of engaging with art, by actively thinking about how we look at art, and the ways in which we are meant to look at it. It was conceptualized keeping in mind the way art is limited to drawing realistically in classrooms, or as something that is inaccessible outside formal spaces of art like galleries. It introduces art through the discipline of Art History, and is meant to provoke multiple ways of teaching through art, and critically thinking about it. It includes activities, additional resources, and pointers for discussing the questions raised. 

This resource was preceded by and built on a short workshop series by the same name, facilitated by Angel Roy Thomas and hosted by History for Peace.

This & That
After over a year of far-too-many hours of digital classes, presentations, meetings and exams, surely we have all become quite the experts? While the internet has certainly widened the scope of the urban classroom in many ways, it comes with its own limitations, aside from issues of accessibility. Quite often, we found that simply trying to replicate the physical classroom online wasn't working as planned. Tested and trusted methods of engaging students' interest were being hindered by technological logistics as well as sorely lacking in the kind of intimacy peculiar to the classroom space. Here's a guide Euroclio developed specifically for teaching in the digital world we found that might be of use to you. Click here.


The space of the Jallianwala Bagh arguably features in the imagination of many students in India to a greater or lesser degree, irrespective of what Board their school is affiliated to, whether they have ever stepped foot in Amritsar or through what popular medium they have received the 'tale' of Bhagat Singh and his revolutionary comrades. The recent drastic renovation of the Bagh and the volley of criticisms it has triggered, widely covered on news and social media, we think, provide an excellent inroad for students to reflect on and debate issues of collective memory, identity and belonging, state narratives and memorialization. To lead into this conversation, we highly recommend this arts-based resource by Heritage Lab on the history and legacy of the 1919 Massacre.

Also read here the commentary by the artists of Jallianwala: Repression and Retribution (the Singh Twins, 2019).


With the annual festivities of Durga Pujo around the corner, here are two resources to share with your students that could perhaps add something new to their experience of 'pandal hopping' (Covid protocols in place of course), or even inspire those who are less inclined, to find something worth exploring in this yearly ritual:

  • A Live History India piece on the trajectory of Durga pujofrom a closed pujo restricted to the houses of the wealthy to a festival celebrated by the masses. Read here.

  • A fascinating virtual exhibition by Banglanatak, displaying the Durga-themed patachitra works by the Patuas of Naya village, a Muslim community of 'chitrakars' (picture-makers). Encourage your students to keep that artist's eye open during the festival and look out for possible influences from artistic styles and traditions in the pandals! View here.

While we are on the subject, below is a talk on the cyclical making and unmaking of the Durga Puja and the impressions it leaves on the city and vice versa, by historian Tapati Guha-Thakurta: 'Residues and Reuse: a festival and its afterlife in an Indian metropolis', hosted by the Warburg Institute.

Latest from History for Peace
Ladakh-Bengal Education Exchange Project: Pilot

The Ladakh Bengal Education Exchange Programme was a pilot project, run as a
collaboration between Achi Association and Seagull foundation for the Arts, where we worked with a group of 30 students—15 from each region. This created the space for opening up direct conversation between students from these two different regions with guided discussions and activities to tap into questions around heritage, conservation, identity, migration, diversity, and the evolving life of a city, among other things. Therefore, moving beyond the popular imagination of a space and its culture to explore the nuances in its making, and the lives of the people that it shapes therein.