My blogger friend Sudharsan at viruvasan.wordpress.com sent me this amazing BBC video yesterday in response to my post on Wagah Border . The BBC always does such a wonderful job telling historical events and using primary source film. In this case it is showing India in the 1940s before, during and after Independence from Britannia. In fact, due to the images, and its emphasis on the people , Muslim , Hindu, and Sikhs and their personal stories, history comes alive. The book I read ‘Indian Summer’ is very good revealing the personalities and personal histories of Nehru, Jinnah, and Gandhi and their parts in shaping history and that is important, too. Much of the film takes place in Lahore which used to be in India but is now in Pakistan. You will meet real people, now quite elderly telling their stories of the partition.
Fifteen million people were forced to move, based solely on their religion. Hindus in what is now Pakistan had to move to India, and Muslims in India had to move to Pakistan. This forced relocation is a horrible example of human’s suffering and man’s inhumanity to man. One million people died along the way and there are stories of desperate mothers leaving their infants along the side of the road. Old roads were filled with trudging people , one on each side of the road.
There was a smaller but similar act of horror forced on five Native American tribes in the United States in the 1800s. There was a mass forced relocation of these indigenous people from the south eastern United States to the eastern part of Oklahoma. It is known as the Trail of Tears. Millions started the march and many died. There is lots of information on the web if you want to learn more.
The mapmaker from England, Radcliffe, drew the lines of partisan without ever visiting Lahore. He never witnessed the elegant liberal city where Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs lived and worked peacefully side by side. You will hear primary sources of the tragedy of the event. The BBC video is long . . . . .one and a half hours. Many of you don’t have time to commit to this historical event. Please watch it if you do and also have the interest. My hope is that some of my Indian friends will and their history will come alive through years of old questions being answered. It was 60 + years ago and I still hope the peace of the Wagah border will become the norm between all of India and Pakistan. They were all Indians at one time, but had different faith systems. They used to live peacefully side by side, and I pray that peace will again rule in their hears and lives.
This Is the Sad Story of Indian Partition !