Teacher Sanwal Dhami captures stories of partition survivors

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| India / Pakistan | 25 Aug 2017 | Asia Samachar |

When Pakistan was carved out of India in 1947, the state of Punjab probably suffered the most in what has been called the Partition. Sikhs living on the now Pakistan side of Punjab migrated towards the Indian side of Punjab, while millions of Muslims moved the other way. In the process, numerous atrocities were reported. At the same time, there were also many heroic stories where people assisted each other, going beyond their religious identity.

Sanwal Dhami, a teacher from Hoshiarpur, has been going door to door to document the stories of survivors of Partition, which he shares via the Youtube.

“Many people have told me that I am the first one who came asking for their stories in 70 years. The worst thing about these stories is how humanity was completely forgotten at that time. And yet there were a few who risked their lives to help others,” he told CNN-News18 in an interview.

This month marks 70 years since the division of British India, a move which created an independent India and Pakistan and is known as the Partition. At the stroke of midnight between August 14 and 15, 1947, British rule ended and the two separate nations were created, reports ITV.

“The partition was outlined in the Indian Independence Act 1947 and, as a result, millions of people were forced to leave their homes to move to the other state in the largest mass migration in human history. As more than 10 million people sought to cross into the other state, an unprecedented refugee crisis was created.

“This also had the affect of sparking violence and riots between Hindus and Muslims, with up to one million people being killed. The western region of Punjab was particularly badly affected, as this had been cut in two by the new border, which became known as the Radcliffe Line, named after its architect, Sir Cyril Radcliffe. This border was not officially unveiled until two days after partition, on August 17, 1947. Many believe the rushed nature of the partition process was a reason for the violence,” according to the report.

 

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