1947 partition pain still in the eyes of the Sikh and Hindu families

20 12 2007

It was an early winter morning in Delhi and I recieved this phone call from Gautam, a friend of mine, asking me to be ‘there’ by 8:30 am. I just freshened up and was waiting at the metro station when I was picked up, we travelled all the way to Model colony and our hosts all in their 70’s if not 80’s were waiting for us trying to keep themselves warm.First it was my turn to talk to the hosts and make them feel at home with the equipment and look at the fact that they do not get too tensed with the camera and other equipment.

While my crew was setting up the camera I was talking to them and most of them seemed they almost were out of the pain and agony they have been through, but one touch and all that is visible on their faces. They need not even speak a word, its all over their faces. I was trying to watch the India partition documentary of the BBC and it felt as if it were a one sided story.

One after the other they spoke or should I say poured their heart out as if waiting to tell the world what they have been through. One has waded through the dead bodies lying among them while the other has killed his own mother, sister and wife as well as his grand ma to”save” their honour from the hands of the “allah oh Akbars”. The saga continues and one of them says they cut the private parts of men, women, while the other says he has even tried burning their homes but see how a hindu / sikh is pathetic at doing things the tin full of petrol couldnot catch fire and God we returned empty handed. The stories are endless. The pain unmeasureable. Is this all Non-violent freedom struggle, is this all the secularism asks one while the others narrate the aftermath of the partition journey into the hearts of INDIANS.

We were treated as chor badmash we had to prove ourselves hard working Indians and Hindus before renting a house.It was a nightmare but we can never forget those days says another elderly sardar. The stories of barbarism from North west frontier province to the sindh to the Rawalpindi to as near as Lahore were tearful and heartbreaking if not nightmares. Will India ever remember the stories or as ever we move ahead and do not learn from the past ?

But here is a story…..