India and Pakistan marks Independence Day: A Story of Partition
by Srimal Fernando Global Editor, The Diplomatic Society and Khushal Das Barthani
This year marks the 70th anniversary of Indian and Pakistan Independence. The partition of British India in August 1947 not only created two new independent nations, India and Pakistan, but also resulted in one of the greatest forced migrations in human history.
The rivalry between India and Pakistan has been going on now for nearly 70 years. Since the division, India and Pakistan have fought several wars over the years but unfortunately with no significant outcome. Efforts to normalise relations between India and Pakistan have been in progress and a long-road lay ahead for both nations to normalize relations.
Across the Indian subcontinent, communities had coexisted for more than a thousand years. The partition changed the destinies of many people in the Indian subcontinent. There are many stories about how forced migrations happened. There are numerous untold stories of Partition. Today, a number of people from India and Pakistan have told their stories.
This is a story of Khushal Das Barthani a Pakistani, Post graduate student studying in India at the South Asian University New Delhi, India.
In an interview with The Diplomatic Society Global Editor, Barthani from Pakistan said “Even though I am from Pakistan my roots are in India. In 1971 during the Indo-Pak war my father’s mother (Dhani Devi) and his brother migrated from Pakistan to India. My father had to stay in our home town in New chhor in Sindh Province in Pakistan. Looking for a safe haven in India, my grandmother chose Rajasthan. After four decades my grandmother Dhani Devi came for short visit to see us in Pakistan. On her arrival to our home town New chhor in Pakistan my grandmother’s first words were, “My both eyes are equal and same as my both sons, one living in Pakistan and the other living in India”. Unfortunately my father passed away a few years before my grandmother’s visit to our home in Pakistan.
In 2015 I was able to commence my student life as a Scholar in the prestigious South Asian University in New Delhi, India. As India and Pakistan celebrated the 70th independence anniversary my thoughts go out to my grandmother’s golden words ““My both eyes are equal and same as my both sons, one living in Pakistan and the other living in India”.
On the Independence Day occasion of India and Pakistan I wish to convey my greetings to Pakistan and India. 70th Anniversary of independence is truly memorable. We must work to achieve lasting peace.
Khushal Das Barthani is a Pakistani Student Studying for her Master of Arts Degree in Sociology at South Asian University in New Delhi, India.