Giving Voice To Memories From 1947 Partition And The Birth Of India And Pakistan


Giving Voice To Memories From 1947 Partition And The Birth Of India And Pakistan
  1. Giving Voice To Memories From 1947 Partition And The Birth Of India And Pakistan
    krvs.org
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtPjK1ebasI As India and Pakistan celebrate 70 years of independence this week, the legacy of the August 1947 Partition of British-ruled India that resulted in the birth of these two nations is something both are still coming to terms with. Religious violence exploded as Hindus and Sikhs fled toward India, and Muslims toward Pakistan, the newly created homeland for South Asia's Muslims. Millions of people were uprooted and displaced from cities, towns and…
    Louisiana (LA)

As India and Pakistan celebrate 70 years of independence this week, the legacy of the August 1947 Partition of British-ruled India that resulted in the birth of these two nations is something both are still coming to terms with.

Religious violence exploded as Hindus and Sikhs fled toward India, and Muslims toward Pakistan, the newly created homeland for South Asia's Muslims. Millions of people were uprooted and displaced from cities, towns and villages where their families had lived for generations.

It was the largest mass migration of the 20th century. Over the course of a year, an estimated 15 million people crossed borders that were drawn up in haste by the British Empire.

Along the way, scenes of brutality played out: Mobs rampaged through cities and countryside, attacking and killing members of religions not their own. "Ghost trains" full of refugees' corpses plied the railway tracks in eerie silence. Women, desperate to avoid abduction and rape, committed suicide. There was arson, looting and bombings.

By the time it was all over, a million people — maybe more — had died.

Only in recent years have the memories and insights of those who lived through the trauma and chaos of Partition been recorded in a systematic way. For such a central and defining set of events in both India and Pakistan, the stories of Partition witnesses and survivors were, for the most part, not given voice outside their own families.

"Because their experiences weren't given importance for so many decades, they just learned to feel that what they experienced wasn't really worth talking about," says Guneeta Singh Bhalla.

She is the founder of the 1947 Partition Archive, a nonprofit based in Berkeley, Calif., that is highlighting the stories and honoring the memories of those who lived through Partition. This grassroots project is racing against time to make sure as many Partition witnesses' voices as possible are heard and their stories are documented for posterity.

"There is a huge urgency," Bhalla says, "because the generation that remembers isn't going to be with us for very long."

As a child in India, Bhalla, now 38, used to listen to her own family's stories from Partition. She is originally from Punjab — a region split between India and Pakistan that, along with Bengal, which was also split, saw some of Partition's bloodiest violence.

Her paternal grandmother, a Sikh, fled to India from Lahore, which ended up on the Pakistani side of the new border.

"My grandmother's experience was very harrowing," she says. "She was in a refugee camp for awhile until her brother found her by chance and they drove away in a Jeep. And all the stories of the dead bodies they saw and had to run over at the time just kind of blew me away as a kid. It seemed really unreal."

She knew her grandmother had been traumatized. But at school in India, there was silence.

"You know, with Partition, we've been hearing these stories from our grandparents, but it's not even covered in the history books," she says. "Basically, the thing that really hit me was the disconnect between the folk history I'd grown up hearing versus the lack of it in our textbooks. There was a disconnect between what we learned in school and what we learned growing up in our families."

In 2009, Bhalla, a physicist, visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial in Japan, and listened to the recorded testimony of those who survived the U.S. atomic bomb attack. The power of their voices hit her hard.

"It was just like a very huge aha moment," she recalls, "like, whoa, this needs to be done for Partition."

The oral histories, she realized, could bridge the disconnect she'd perceived between what was learned at home and what was taught in schools. She did some research to see if an oral history project existed for Partition, but found nothing. So, she says, "For my own sake, I started recording stories."

She sought out Partition witnesses in India and began documenting their memories. At first, she says, "Everyone thought it was kind of a really nuts idea. People had learned to subdue this history and to take it as not serious. It was like, 'Oh yeah, that thing that happened, but we don't really talk about it.' I thought that was a problem in itself."

Bhalla moved to the Bay Area to take a job at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. But in her free time, she continued recording interviews with Partition survivors.

"I just showed up randomly," she recalls. "I looked up the Sikh temple, mosques and Hindu temples in the area." At her first stop, the Fremont, Calif., Sikh temple, she set up a table and a sign saying "1947 Stories," she recalls, and "a huge line of people formed." She quickly realized the enormity of her task – and that she'd tapped into a great need.

The stories poured in. Bhalla started recruiting others to help and founded the 1947 Partition Archive. Now, running the archive is her full-time job. The project has recorded more than 4,300 oral histories. More than 500 volunteers have helped record the stories in 22 different languages, from 12 countries — primarily in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh (which became independent from Pakistan in 1971), but also in the U.S., the U.K. and elsewhere. Bhalla herself has conducted interviews with 100 Partition witnesses.

The archive's goal is to document 10,000 stories. But time is running out. The stories come from people in their 70s and older, sharing sometimes horrific memories from their childhoods: witnessing train massacres, seeing corpses and decapitated heads, watching parents and other family members attacked and murdered.

Reena Kapoor, an engineer in Silicon Valley, is one of the 1947 Partition Archive's volunteers, known as "citizen historians." Her grandmother — a widow who fled with her children from Peshawar, in Pakistan, to India — crossed back over the border alone to retrieve valuables. Like many, she'd thought the move would be temporary and they could return home after things calmed down; they brought little with them. On her way back to India, she survived a harrowing journey on a train that was attacked.

"She just sat quietly in a corner pretending she'd been killed too, so she wouldn't be noticed," Kapoor says.

Kapoor says she's recorded at least 50 stories from Partition survivors. "It takes me two or three days…

  1. 5 missing after Army helicopter goes down off Hawaii

    Klfy.com - Louisiana (LA)
    08.16 / 16:45 klfy.com
    U.S. Coast Guard and military crews are searching the ocean off Hawaii for five crewmembers of an Army helicopter that reportedly went down…
  2. Here's What You Need To Know About The Total Solar Eclipse

    Krvs.org - Louisiana (LA)
    08.16 / 16:45 krvs.org
    On Monday, the moon will completely eclipse the sun, and people all over the U.S. will watch. For those who have been boning up on eclipse trivia for weeks, congratulations. For everyone else, here are the things you need to know about the phenomenon. Where can I see the eclipse? A partial solar eclipse will be visible everywhere in the contiguous United States, but to see the total solar eclipse, you'll need to be in a sash of land that cuts from Oregon to South Carolina. A lot of people…
  3. UNICEF Picks YouTube Star As Ambassador

    Krvs.org - Louisiana (LA)
    08.16 / 16:45 krvs.org
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xX-gqzEcYRc Lilly Singh makes YouTube videos with titles like " Why I'm NOT In A Relationship ," " Why Bras Are Horrible ," and " Every Argument With My Parents EVER! " She plays a cast of goofy characters — including hyperbolic parodies of her parents, complete with beards, wigs and saris. But she mostly plays herself in what's often a one-woman show about love, life and everything in between. To her 12 million video subscribers, Singh is known as "…
  4. In Midst Of Racial Hatred, Van Jones Still Pushes Love

    Krvs.org - Louisiana (LA)
    08.16 / 16:45 krvs.org
    On the same night that torch-bearing white nationalists wound up staging a rally at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Van Jones stood at a podium, in the nation's capital, telling a theater full of supporters why they should let love rule in the face of racial hatred. The timing was sheer coincidence — the ninth stop on the CNN pundit's 14-city WE RISE tour had been scheduled well ahead of Friday night's prelude to the violent Unite the Right protest — but one that speaks to th…
  5. Hope Hicks Named Interim White House Communications Director

    Krvs.org - Louisiana (LA)
    08.16 / 16:45 krvs.org
    Hope Hicks, one of President Trump's rarely seen but longest-serving aides, has been named interim White House communications director, filling the position left vacant by Anthony Scaramucci after his 10-day tenure. Hicks will work alongside press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders until a permanent replacement is found, the White House said. She has been serving as director of strategic communications. "We will make an announcement on a permanent communications director at the appropriate…
  6. Quoting Mandela, Obama's Tweet After Charlottesville Is The Most-Liked Ever

    Krvs.org - Louisiana (LA)
    08.16 / 16:45 krvs.org
    The former president's message after the violence in Charlottesville, Va., was brief, but it hit the right note for many. "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion ..." Barack Obama tweeted , accompanied by a photo of himself, jacket slung over his shoulder, smiling at four young children gathered at a windowsill. Twitter has announced that Saturday's tweet is the most-liked tweet ever. It attracted more than 3.3 million likes…
  7. News Minute: Here is the latest Louisiana news from The Associated Press at 8:40 a.m. CDT

    Ksla.com - Louisiana
    08.16 / 16:31 www.ksla.com
    Tulane researchers have a $104,000 grant to study whether lead in polluted neighborhoods is making mockingbirds more aggressive than those in other neighborhoods. The university says Jordan Karubian and Renata Ribeiro…
  8. Time running out to claim millions in unclaimed tax refunds

    Thetowntalk.com - Louisiana
    08.16 / 16:31 www.thetowntalk.com
    Millions of dollars in state income tax refunds will become unclaimed property if taxpayers don’t claim them by Sept. 6…
  9. Landrieu: 25% of the city’s catch basins need repairs

    Wgno.com - Louisiana
    08.16 / 16:31 wgno.com
    A full quarter of the city’s catch basins need repair work, and six percent of the overall number need attention immediately, according to Mayor Mitch L…
  10. Six business leaders have quit Trump. Who’s next?

    Wgno.com - Louisiana
    08.16 / 16:31 wgno.com
    Six business executives have quit President Trump's council on manufacturing jobs since the violence at a white nationalist rally in Virginia -- a sign of escalating fallout from his insistence that both sides are to…
  11. Taco Bell unveils ‘Naked Egg Taco’ with fried egg for a shell

    Wgno.com - Louisiana
    08.16 / 16:31 wgno.com
    Taco Bell unveils 'Naked Egg Taco’ with fried egg for a s…
  12. Morse police chief arrested for allegedly misusing public funds

    Klfy.com - Louisiana (LA)
    08.16 / 15:43 klfy.com
    The police chief of the village of Morse has been arrested for allegedly misusing public funds, according to the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s O…
  13. Dolly Parton Has Lessons For The Young And Old On New Album of Children's Songs

    Krvs.org - Louisiana (LA)
    08.16 / 15:43 krvs.org
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_-YbWHs6DE "Back through the years / I go wonderin' once again / Back to the seasons of my youth," Dolly Parton sings in the opening of "Coat Of Many Colors," the country legend's favorite song of her own, which tells the story of a young Dolly wearing a patchwork coat of rags, sewn by her mother, with pride. The song, she said two years ago , "lets people know that we're supposed to love one another for who and what we are, and to celebrate our…
  14. Preservation Hall Jazz Band On World Cafe

    Krvs.org - Louisiana (LA)
    08.16 / 15:43 krvs.org
    In the French Quarter of New Orleans, there's a tiny venue with old wooden floors where on a good night you can cram in around a hundred people. The audience sits right up in front of the band and it's so intimate that the musicians don't need microphones. It's a truly magical place, where the spirit of New Orleans jazz is not only alive but evolving. It's called Preservation Hall. And it's home to our guests – the Preservation Hall Jazz Band . The venue, as a concert space, and the band w…
  15. Latin Roots: Javiera Mena

    Krvs.org - Louisiana (LA)
    08.16 / 15:43 krvs.org
    This July, on a beautiful summer day just after the sun set, Chile's Javiera Mena took the outdoor stage to perform her first show in the city of Philadelphia. Mena is a Latin Grammy and MTV Europe Award nominee whose been cranking out indie electro-pop for the past decade. Mena released her debut album, Esquemas Juveniles , in 2006. At the beginning of that year, Chile elected its first female president, Michelle Bachelet. By the end of that year, former Cuban dictator Augusto Pinochet…
  16. Fact Check: 'Whatabout' Those Other Historical Figures? Trump's Question Answered

    Krvs.org - Louisiana (LA)
    08.16 / 15:43 krvs.org
    "So this week it's Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson's coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?.... [Jefferson] was a major slave owner. Are we going to take down his statue?" — President Trump, Aug. 15, 2017 The president made this statement Tuesday while jabbing at reporters over a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., where white n…
  17. DOOM And Jay Electronica Debut 'True Lightyears,' Teasing A New KMD Album

    Krvs.org - Louisiana (LA)
    08.16 / 15:43 krvs.org
    When MF DOOM emerged from the ether just before the last millennium's end, with a metal faceplate masking his grill, a raspy voice and a vicious internal rhyme scheme, he quickly amassed a cult-like following. His villainous persona, an amalgamation of comic book characters ranging from Dr. Doom to G.I. Joe's Destro, masked his true identity as he exacted revenge on an industry which had metaphorically disfigured him. But his real story was as dark as any comic book creation. MF DOOM was…
  18. Lit Pizza plans location in Settlement at Shoe Creek

    Businessreport.com - Baton Rouge
    08.16 / 15:34 businessreport.com
    The founders of Lit Pizza have announced that they plan to open a new location of the fast-casual pizza concept in Central’s The Settlement of Shoe Creek sometime next year. The new location will the fourth for Lit, which first opened last year in the Southgate Shopping Center on Burbank Drive. Lit Pizza also has... The post Lit Pizza plans location in Settlement at Shoe Creek appeared first on Baton Rouge Business R…
  19. Broome champions transportation tax via new website

    Businessreport.com - Baton Rouge
    08.16 / 15:34 businessreport.com
    Mayor Sharon Weston Broome’s office today rolled out a new website to promote a proposed  5-mill property tax that would fund transportation and traffic control projects throughout the parish. The Better Transportation and Roads plan website includes details about Broome’s tax proposal, a project map and listing, and a schedule of public meetings on the... The post Broome champions transportation tax via new website appeared first on Baton Rouge Business Repo…
  20. H&E ending bid to acquire Miami equipment rental company

    Businessreport.com - Baton Rouge
    08.16 / 15:34 businessreport.com
    After being undercut by a strategic bidder, Baton Rouge’s H&E Equipment Services says it is ending its efforts to acquire the Neff Corporation, a regional equipment rental company based in Miami. In a statement issued this morning, H&E says it will not submit a revised proposal to acquire the company and will permit Neff to... The post H&E ending bid to acquire Miami equipment rental company appeared first on Baton Rouge Business R…