Partition of Pakistan and India: Was it Independence or a Genocide?

Partition of Pakistan and India: Was it Independence or a Genocide?

14 August and 15 August should be remembered for the largest known migration in modern history.

Millions died when Pakistan was created. Muslims living in India had to cross over to the newly created nation to ovoid being slaughtered by Hindu vigilantes. Hindus living in Pakistan had to leave for India fearing revenge by Muslims for deaths in India by Hindus.

The partition displaced up to 17 million people in the former British Indian Empire.

In matter of weeks a mass migration took place in which everyone lost their homes, their belongings and their loved ones. Children, women and the old died on the way, some by starvation, some by swords, some by heat.

In the riots which preceded the partition in the Punjab region, between 200,000 and 500,000 people were killed in the retributive genocide

Independence is a story of mass sufferings. It is a time to honor those who lost all and to reflect on what we gained. It is not a time for Song and dance, nor is it a time for car rallies and flag waving.

Partition of India

 

The whole of the Hindu-Sikh part is an absolute wreck, as though it has been subjected to an air raid. Several Hindu and Sikh villages were wiped out. A large number of people were forcibly converted, children were kidnapped, and young women abducted and openly raped. Though a separate number of female causalities is not available, the official figure of deaths in the district of Rawalpindi was 2,263 which was considered far below the actual number. The women were subjected to maximum humiliation and torture. Their agony can be judged by the fact that a number of women jumped into wells to save their honor.

 

 

In the Journal of Genocide Research (2003), 5 (1), 71–101 Paul Brass writes on page 89:

…..one of complicity in violence that blurs the boundaries between killers and their victims.

It appears that untold numbers of women and children were “saved” by their own fathers and brothers by being slaughtered to prevent their capture, abduction, rape, and conversion during these raids.

One Mangal Singh, for example, during an attack upon his village cut off the heads of 17 women and children in his own family one by one in full view of all members of the family, though he and his son ultimately escaped, reached safety in India, and fostered new families.

In this and other families also, women marched to the village wells one by one and threw themselves in to avoid capture by suicide. In other cases, villagers built huge bonfires put to the same purpose.

“If we were able to mount that wondrous horse of freedom, where would we seek to ride it?”

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