Birmingham marks 70 years of Indian and Pakistan independence

Pakistan's Consul General Syed Ahmed Maroof (sixth from left) and Deputy Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Carl Rice, raising Pakistan's flag today.
Published: Monday, 14th August 2017

A series of events are taking place across Birmingham this week to mark the 70th anniversary of India’s and Pakistan’s independence

Both countries became independent of British rule in 1947, an event which is celebrated every year by Pakistan on 14 August and India on 15 August.

These events began with Cllr Carl Rice, Deputy Lord Mayor of Birmingham, and Syed Ahmed Maroof, the Consul General for Pakistan, officially raising the country’s flag outside the Council House today (14 August).

The Lord Mayor also presented Mr Maroof, who is nearing the end of his three-year term as Consul General, with a Birmingham Plaque in recognition of his service to the city and its Pakistani community.

Later tonight, members of the Indian community will take part in a ‘moonlight walk’ from Victoria Square in the city centre which will end at the Consulate General of India, in the Jewellery Quarter after midnight – to begin the celebrations marking India’s 70 years of independence.

Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India, will raise India's flag outside the Consulate offices tomorrow (15 August). This will be followed by a special celebration of this anniversary and the UK-India relationship at Birmingham’s Town Hall tomorrow evening , which is due to be attended by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands and the Mayor of the West Midlands.

In Birmingham, this year has been designated as Utsav: Year of South Asian Culture, celebrating the contribution of South Asian communities make to the city.

Events open to the public marking this important milestone include:

Connecting Stories: Our British Asian Heritage: A special exhibition at the Library of Birmingham, in partnership with the British Library, featuring artefacts from both libraries’ archives, including a map showing how railways in the Indian subcontinent were divided between the two new states. The exhibition is free and runs until 4 November.

Impact of Independence on Birmingham & the Black Country: A documentary and exhibition at the Ikon Gallery in Brindleyplace featuring oral histories from first generation Indians in Birmingham, and the impact the country’s independence has had on their lives. Free entry, open until Sunday (20 August).

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