The Wire’s #PartitionAt70 series brings a number of stories that will attempt at drawing a comprehensive picture of those weeks and months when entire geographies and histories changed forever.
Publisher Arpita Das and her mother recall a story of mistaken identity when her mother’s sibling was grabbed by a
refugee woman who was convinced that the child was her lost daughter.
‘Hum Vehshi Hain’ is a humanist response to the trauma and tragedy of 1947, and presents points of view of various characters across class, gender and ideology in colonial India.
Hari Krishnan grew up in Delhi in a Tamil household in a locality of partition refugees from the Punjab on the other side. As he strolls in Karol Bagh with his childhood friend Amandeep Khurrana, they recollect how Partition shaped their lives.
Three women who were forced to leave Pakistan for India with their families recall their journeys across the border.
Even though it was another country, Pakistan seemed just like India. But my mother’s fears certainly affected me. I have always regretted that.
The businesses that moved have left a deep legacy on the economic and developmental policies in both India and Pakistan.
Satish Pruthi and his family nearly didn’t make it to India when a mob attacked the group they were a part of. But with help from friends on both sides of the border, they created a new life.
Sikh siblings Gurbachan Kaur and Ajit Singh recount the days of Partition when they had to flee from Pakistan to India.
Vinod Dua discusses the journey of independent India through development indicators.
Granddaughters Aastha and Bhavya’s bedtime stories included their grandmother’s time spent in Peshawar, and because of that Peshawar felt like a place far away, belonging to a fairy tale.
The impact of Partition has remained an untouched territory in the cultural landscape of Britain, which Memories of Partition is addressing by capturing the collective memory of people affected by it.
My father was able to reaffirm the one faith he had: that as often as not, human relations override political, national and even religious dividing lines.
Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy’s United Bengal Plan That Could Have Changed the Course of India’s History
Suhrawardy, a largely forgotten figure today, was Bengal’s chief minister in 1946 and is often mis-remembered as a Hindu-hating communal leader.
Yashpal’s two-volume Jhutha Sach, which revolves around two key moments that directly shape Partition, closely connects history and fictional narrative.
Despite economic troubles, a questionable education system and a booming healthcare sector catering fabulously to its minuscule elite, it is religion that is on the tip of every politician’s tongue.
Today there is an attempt at portraying the Congress party – and its leaders during independence and Partition – in very different hues from the inclusiveness, tolerance, democracy and secularism it upheld in very trying times.
The breakneck speed at which Delhi is growing was triggered by the arrival of refugees from Punjab, Sindh and the North-West Frontier Province.
Through personal narratives from grandparents and depictions in books and movies, young people in India and Pakistan have constructed their own memories of Partition.
When India was divided in 1947, the RBI also grappled with a number of tasks that “posed several delicate problems”.
The older cuisines like Mughlai faded away and in their place came the robust makhni gravy and tandoori dishes
Martand Khosla was studying architecture in England where he made good friends with a student from Pakistan. Upon interactions, they discover the curious connection of Partition that binds them together across historical time zones.
The narrative of Partition hasn’t gone away with my grandparents. It has become a part of my family’s lived history, and mentality.
An excerpt from ‘Inheriting the Hamam Dasta and its Stories,’ a chapter by Maya Mirchandani in ‘Looking Back: the 1947 Partition, 70 Years On’.
Jessore Road, which connects India and Bangladesh, once witnessed carnage, smuggling, migration and trade.
Four stories that help us understand the questions that Indian Muslims were grappling with during Partition.
An excerpt from Unbordered Memories: Sindhi Stories of Partition, edited and translated by Rita Kothari.
Like in India, there were some filmmakers in Pakistan who did venture to look at the bloodiest chapter of the independence struggle of the two countries.
Although fiction writers visited the theme of Partition repeatedly, Hindi poets curiously remained more or less indifferent to it.
Aanchal Malhotra, an artist, writer, oral historian and archivist, studies the objects people took with them when crossing the border during Partition.
My family’s silence on their experiences after Partition was not about repressing, but looking ahead.
The self-reflexive and ethical perspectives of the second and third generation of witnesses to the catastrophe of 1947 may help in healing the wounds of Partition.
Amit Khanna, the executive producer of Buniyaad, which triggered memories of Partition in both India and Pakistan, recalls how the 1987 drama was created.
Graphic novelist Vishwajyoti Ghosh talks about his childhood with his grandparents that were full of stories from the other side, the home they left behind. As a young professional, he travelled to see the place for himself and recollects the experience.
How did migration impact the professional networks in which scientists functioned? Did they continue academic discussions with their former colleagues on the other side of the border?
Sindhis, who had become homeless and penniless overnight, built schools, colleges and became doctors, helping not only themselves but countless others.
Singers both in India and Pakistan have found creative ways out of imposed silences on certain kinds of music to keep their art and repertoires alive.
Ravikant, Debjani Sengupta and P.K. Dutta discuss how Partition scholarship is evolving to be more inclusive of the many lives that were irreversibly altered by the events of 1947.
Though promised much by the ‘Hindu’ west after Partition, Dalits who crossed over from East Bengal got the opposite of a warm welcome.
Although one might expect censorship due to the sensitivity of the issue, Hindi films began referring to Partition almost immediately after the events.
The terror of Partition is signified in Bengali cinema, literature and songs through the works of Ritwik Ghatak, Amitav Ghosh, Jibanananda Das and Taslima Nasreen.