Saturday January 18, 2020
Home Uncategorized A line on the...

A line on the map: Partition through the eyes of a refugee

0
//

By Gaurav Sharma

partitionWe all celebrate Independence Day with much gusto and elan. Draping ourselves with the tricolor while waving the tiranga, bonding with family over warm breakfast while being eager-eared audience to Dada’s epic tale of partition, the Independence Day is the celebration of the unity of people. Unity of all people pledging their allegiance to the idea of nationhood, that is.

Our ancestors are the eyes into that history of nationhood. The gory, murky and inglorious history which is reproduced in front of the youth through the realism of  their verbosity. Their herculean memory is living proof of the evils of demarcated boundaries. The perils of nationhood. And yet it is the very same nationhood that we celebrate and glorify on this day. Some swear their lives by it, and so they die for it.

On this Independence Day, NewsGram brings out freedom and splintering into two, in all its eclectic scope through the empirical lens of an Indian refugee GD Taneja.

GS: You were born under the unified India. Do you consider it as a privilege or a bane?

GD: I was born in Karachi in 1926. During that time, Hindus and Muslims used to live peacefully, considerate of each other’s belief systems. It was beyond toleration, it was a recognition of our understanding of brotherhood. Living by that principle made life more enriching. It was indeed fortuitous of me to be born in a unified India.

GS: What was the prevalent behavior of Hindus and Muslims?

GD:  At the time the partition was announced, the region around Karachi constituted a meager 5 per cent of Hindus, the vast majority comprised of Muslims. Hindu festivals like Baisakhi and Janmashtami were celebrated with equal zeal by both the communities. We respected Allah, the Muslim idea of God.

GS: How did the camaraderie change so drastically?

GD: We were not persecuted by the immediate Muslims of Karachi. Religious zealots from the mountainous region of Waziristan mercilessly attacked our homes, our places of worship and thus began a sinister chain of violence. They had weapons against which we could not retaliate. Sikhs were attacked relentlessly, and we were taken in as mistaken-identity.

GS: How did you manage to escape the onslaught?

GD:  A Hindu SHO (Station house officer) gave us refuge in the police station at the behest of our Muslim brethren. Had it not been for them we would have been slaughtered in the precarious passage to the station.

GS: Keeping in mind the religious massacre during the partition, do you believe that religion splinters humanity?

GD:  India was, and is kept united by religion. It gives hope to people, a wanting to move forwards in life. It is only due to some fanatics that religion gets a bad name. Religion gives knowledge, one that is aimed at uniting people rather than segregating them into kafirs and mlecchas. Politicizing religion further exacerbated the problem.

GS: How do you reflect on Independence Day today?

GD: I look at Independence Day with hope and a touch of sadness. That we had to undergo a vicious war in which scores were killed and raped to realize our ‘freedom’ goes to show that religion has to be tolerant of multitudinary interpretations, in order for it to bring out real transformation.

Current situation of Pakistan is a testimony to that fact. We have to be extremely careful in treading the fine line between religion and fanaticism. Secularism is not the solution because it breeds ignorance of other people’s knowledge and faith.

Next Story

Indian PM Narendra Modi Raised These Important Issues in I-Day Speech

Important issues PM raised in I-Day speech

0
modi
Modi said, "I want to announce a major decision from the Red Fort that India will have a Chief of Defence Staff -- CDS." Pixabay

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday during his Independence day speech touched several important issues like the abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A from Jammu and Kashmir, creation of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) post, Rs 100 lakh crore on developing infrastructure, population explosion, eliminate use of plastic bags, promote digital payments, water conservation, one nation, one election and many others.

Here are the important issues that Modi said during his speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort:

Abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir: Modi said with the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir, the dream of “One Nation, One Constitution” has been realised. He also lashed out at the opposition for speaking against the move, asking if they felt it was so necessary why didn’t they make it permanent in the past 70 years.

Creation of the CDS post: Modi said I want to announce a major decision from the Red Fort that India will have a Chief of Defence Staff — CDS. This is going to make the forces even more effective. The new CDS post will oversee all the three wings of the armed forces.

independence day
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday during his Independence day speech touched several important issues. Pixabay

Abolition of triple talaq: Modi said it was aimed at benefitting the Muslim women. He said the country has taken several steps for women, including ending the evil of female foeticide. If we can take so many steps then why not raise our voice against the evil of triple talaq, so that our Muslim sisters get equal respect and are part of the country’s progress. The decision is not to be weighed in political terms.

Population explosion: Modi said population explosion will cause many problems for our future generations. But there is a vigilant section of public which stops to think, before bringing a child to the world, whether they can do justice to the child, give them all that she or he wants. They have a small family and express their patriotism to the country. Let’s learn from them. There is need of social awareness.

Jal Jeevan Mission: Modi announced a new Jal Jeevan Mission for realising the vision of Har Ghar Jal, or drinking water to every home, with an allocation of Rs 3,59,000 crore. Modi also asked the citizens to adopt the water conservation, they way they adopted the Swachh Bharat campaign.

Eliminate use of plastic: Modi said single-use plastic poses grave threat to the environment. The time for implementing such an idea has come. Teams must be mobilised to work in this direction. A significant step must come out by October 2.

narendra modi
here are the important issues that Modi said during his speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort. Pixabay

Promote digital payment: Modi said shopkeepers already have a board outside their shops that reads: ‘Aaj nagad, kal udhar’. Similarly they can have a board saying ‘yes’ to digital payment and no to cash payment.

Simultaneous poll: Modi said the dream of one nation, one tax has been achieved by the implementation of the GST (Goods and Services Tax). Our nation has also successfully achieved One Nation, One Grid in the Power sector. Now today, India is talking about One Nation, One Election. So a discussion must be held on this.

Minimise use of fertilizers: Modi urged the farmers to minimise the use of chemical-based fertilizers in their farmlands.

Also Read: Indians Zoom in on Full-frame Mirrorless Cameras: Canon

Wealth creation: Modi said wealth creation is a great national service. Let us never be wealth creators with suspicion. Only when wealth is created, it will be distributed. Those who create wealth are India’s wealth and we respect them.

Quality Export products: Modi said the time has come to think about how we can boost exports. Each district of India has so much to offer. Let us make local products attractive. May more export hubs emerge. Our guiding principle is ‘Zero Defect, Zero Effect’. (IANS)