After 75 years, the hidden memories of India’s partition are rising up through Britain’s generations | Kavita Puri


, 06/08/2022, 10:00 am

Those whose lived through the formation of India and Pakistan are telling their stories – and their grandchildren are asking questions

Two sisters handed me a piece of paper that was faded and yellow. On it were typewritten words from their father. He had died in the 1990s and his final request had been for his ashes to be divided up and scattered in three different places: the Punjabi village in modern-day Pakistan where he’d been born, the River Ganges at Haridwar in India, and by the Severn Bridge in England. These three places made up his life, from displacement to India from Pakistan during partition, and then his migration to Britain. He felt he belonged in each one of them, wanting some part of him to remain, in death as in life.

Five years ago, I started collecting testimonies of the people in Britain who lived through the tumultuous events of partition. I quickly realised it was not a story from far away, but one that was all around us in Britain, with a continuing legacy.

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