Thursday, October 2, 2008

Today is the birthday of Mahathma Gandhiji, on this day I would like to recall the partition of India and Pakistan.

Millions left for their promised new homeland with smiles on their faces as trains left both India and Pakistan.

The massive exchange of population that took place in the summer of 1947 was unprecedented.

This is a train to Pakistan being given a warm send-off.
In 1947, the border between India and its new neighbour Pakistan became a river of blood, as the exodus erupted into rioting.

These pictures are by Margaret Bourke-White from Khushwant Singh's book Train to Pakistan, Roli Books.Over 10 million people were uprooted from their homeland and travelled on foot, bullock carts and trains to their promised new home.

An aged and abandoned Muslim couple and their grand children sitting by the the roadside on this arduous journey. "The old man is dying of exhaustion. The caravan has gone on," wrote Bourke-White.

It left behind a trail of death and destruction. The Indian map was slashed to make way for a new country - Pakistan.

In a couple of months in the summer of 1947, a million people were slaughtered on both sides in the religious rioting.

The street was short and narrow. Lying like the garbage across the street and in its open gutters were bodies of the dead. Here, bodies of the victims of rioting are picked up from a city street.

With the tragic legacy of an uncertain future, a young refugee sits on the walls of Purana Qila, transformed into a vast refugee camp in Delhi.

Men, women and children who died in the rioting were cremated on a mass scale.
Villagers even used oil and kerosene when wood was scarce.

The migration


Mel said...

And you know what....sometimes, it seems people have forgotten all this. Also, sometimes, it's sad to see this is SO NOT what Gandhi had in mind.... :-(

Deepak said...

ya Gandhiji didn't want this....
It is a pity that this had happened!

Chuck Morton said...

Stupendous to imagine that such things can in fact happen......... yet they do. Genocide in Europe, piracy in Darfur, or repression right here in the good old US of A, man's inhumanity to man is demonstrated with each successive generation.

The pictures are stark and horrifyingly beautiful. The story is told efficiently here, and more fully elsewhere. The history is incontrovertable, and yet.........

Why must these things happen?

ved said...

this was only the politics that was happened that time. and he person behind thuis was gandhiji , nehru and jinnah , thay were responsible for that.

ved said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Jinna is the main culprit for the partition, the another person is Jawaharlal Nehru.

Anonymous said...

it was th race to hold the power nd nthin and jinnah r r resp.4 all d blood nd jinnah were the real mother fuckers of 1947