Indian Encounters, National Museum of Scotland

Indian Encounters is a new free exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland, exploring the complex and changing relationship between Great Britain and India in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Like the powers it focuses on, this is an exhibition of two parts. One focuses on the collection of 18th century Scot Archibald Swinton, who served in the East India Company’s army at the time of Britain’s military expansion into India.

The other features objects belonging to Maharaja Duleep Singh, who became the first Sikh to live in Britain after being forced to surrender to the East India Company at the age of 10 in the 19th century.

Both facets of the exhibition shine opposing light into an important period of world history which is seldom remembered today. It culminates in a new work – Casualty of War – a painting by renowned artists The Singh Twins. The symbolism of the work is the artists’ response to some of the issues raised by this small yet fascinating exhibition, which provides yet another illuminating reason to pay a visit to the National Museum.

Indian Encounters is at the National Museum of Scotland until 1 March 2015

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