2017 marks 70 years since the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan. Around 15 million people were uprooted from their homes in the largest migration known to human history.
We caught up with poet Rupinder Kaur 15th August (the anniversary date of Partition), as someone who is passionate about the subject, here’s what she had to share with us.
“Lahore or Amritsar to me it’s the same. It’s important to know your history and where you come from.
Growing up I’ve always heard stories how Panjab existed with so much peace and all of a sudden one day changed everything. My Nanaji who turns 75 this year witnessed partition 70 years ago. When I asked him about partition he said to me “I lost my birth mother when I was only 2 years old, but I lost my mother land when I was 5 years old. Everything that was mine was taken away from me.”
For me personally, Partition is something that I am greatly passionate about maybe abit too much compared to others in my generation especially for someone born in England.
We don’t hear the real, the raw truths of how and why partition occurred. Recently I have been reading a lot more into how did partition occur and It was Radcliffe that split the subcontinent along religious lines he placed a line down India not really thinking about it. And it is said the partition was in the plan for nearly 2 years.
This man made line caused people to leave their homes – their mitti (soil) – their rooh (soul). A line which caused hatred between communities that once co-existed and once lived together. A saanjha Panjab – a Panjab for all once exited. Panjab was divided but they couldn’t divide the Panjab living in the soul of every Panjabi. Deep down every Panjabi that is a Sikh dreams to visit Lahore, Nankana Sahib – the birth place of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. And there are so many Muslim Panjabis living in east Panjab that long for west Panjab. This united Panjab that I often write about exited and today exists in my dreams exists in my poems in my soul and in my heart. Many of my grandparent’s generation lived partition. Today not very many of that generation exists. With the tales of united Panjab dying and some of today’s generation do not even know that Panjab was once one. Many of my grandparent’s generation do not even wish to talk about 1947 because of the pain and trauma it caused.
Today I say let’s spread love not hate. There has been enough hate caused and 70 years later the wounds of 1947 is still fresh for many it still causes a pain in the soul of many Panjabis. What has been done can’t be reversed but with love everything can be soothed. And 1947 is something we should never forget it something we should continue telling our generations about.
Over thousands and millions died during migration. A wave of hate was spread between Muslims and Sikhs and Hindus. Those that lived as brothers and sisters were now killing and hating. Women were abducted (applies to all). They were raped. Many women and young girls in order to save their honour would jump in wells or drink poison. There are many, many stories of partition I could go on forever. But it is sad to see we let hate get in-between us we let the divide and rule monopoly effect.
Today I ask this generation to awake. Don’t spread hate. Spread love. We have suffered already so much with partition that occurred 70 years ago. Panjab is still crying and Kashmir is still bleeding. Wounds are fresh and not forgotten but let’s hope for peace and love between all. ”
Many thanks to Rupinder for sharing her words on British Bindi.
Check out more of Rupinder Kaur’s work here.