Less known India-Pakistan partition narratives

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What narratives are privileged to define historical events? What narratives support and reinforce ideological frameworks? What narratives and voices do nothing to support and reinforce such frameworks and, as a result, fall through the cracks and are lost?

You’d think that positive stories of goodness would flourish. But some of these stories fail to support favored ideological frameworks.

So they disappear, or fade. part.jpg

I’d rarely ever, in all my years of education in Pakistan and trawling through the interwebs, encountered the stories of Indians of various faith backgrounds who defended and protected people of other religious communities from the riots and bloodshed during the India-Pakistan Partition. Where they exist, they often are twisted to serve narratives of demonization and superiority, as in Gadar. 

So here they are, “Punjab’s little-known Schindlers, who saved many during Partition violence.”

These stories must be kept alive. The internet is brimming over with voices of vicious
hate, resentment, anger, fury from Indians and Pakistanis. Try poking around Twitter on the 14th and 15th of August. Let’s disrupt those voices of hate, not by contradicting them, not with arguments, butArthurRackham_GoblinMarket_100.jpgwith repeating, just repeating these stories. Each of the persons in these stories stood, surrounded, swamped by hate but never sinking below it:

Like a lily in a flood,—
Like a rock of blue-vein’d stone
Lash’d by tides obstreperously,—
Like a beacon left alone
In a hoary roaring sea,
Sending up a golden fire,—

Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market. 
Those of you dedicated to simply reciting the story ofsalman.jpg faith, friendship, solidarity, and love are standard bearers against a rising tide of hate. Your endeavors, even passive and quiet, are resistance.  There is a reason the love story of Bajrangi Bhaijan was so popular across the subcontinent last year.

Perhaps the hour of humanity is here. One can hope.

2 thoughts on “Less known India-Pakistan partition narratives”

  1. I recently watched Bajrangi Bhaijan and thoroughly enjoyed it I wish more such movies are made on both sides of the border

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