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Forgetting that 15th August

August 15, 2011

Every 15th August I like a million other Indians would wrap myself with the feeling of immense pride. While listening to the tune of our National Anthem, standing in attention no matter where i am, I would be trying to control this over whelming feeling inside of me. But this year it is rather different.

Besides me on my table rests a book “The Holocaust of  Indian Partition”. It makes me realize that the day we cherish the most in Indian history is a day many loathe. I’m not talking about men like Churchill here, who still wanted to retain the colonies. I’m talking about those who became “refugees” in their own country.

Millions across India were affected by the communal lashes. Forced conversions, rape, abduction, savagery, assault and genocide were common occurences. Some (read thousands) died because of the communal riots that were incited by the division. While a lot more died because of indirect causes like hunger, travelling hundreds of kilometers etc.

The long journey 'home'

Heavily pregnant woman, old people, small children and men- all forced to pick up their own baggage and walk, walk to an unknown destination, keep on walking for a time that seemed unending.

While we celebrated Nehru’s famous “Tryst with Destiny”, millions mourned the losses the incurred. They all had been uprooted like weeds and shunted away from the place they called home. While they ran away from the place they and their forefathers and had lived to a place that was their “supposed home”. And when these 10 million reached the “Promised Land” of their’s they were welcomed by a bleak picture of a vast wasteland overcrowded by people, tents pitched (i.e if they were lucky) and were awarded a tag called “Refugees”.

The initial residents of this “home” passed bitter remarks and asked why should they be paying for “those” people from the other side. Thousands died for they had no food.

In fact, those who died  in the riots were luckier than the ones left. For the remaining “refugees” were left with sad memories of the past- having being robbed of their existence, their home, having being raped or witnessed their loved ones being raped or tortured. Sadder was the realization that they were like beggars now, living off on bakshish.

 

And even today for many people across the country the situation isn’t very different. While the Red Fort echoes with words of our politicians empty promises, thousands don’t even have the fortune of tuning into to the radio. Their lives disrupted because of potential terrorist threats.

Disrupted Lives

While others gave 'memorable' speeches

While we unfurl the flag in our schools and colleges and neighbourhoods there are people deprived of their fundamental rights. In the north-east because of AFSPA and militancy, in Kashmir because of terrorists, in numerous regions of India because of naxalities and poverty.

These men and women carry on despite of all the challenges and hurdles. And I salute them this day for having done so.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Pappu Pager, Munna Mobile etc. permalink
    October 22, 2011 10:08 AM

    Well , it seems that the blog is dead, long live the blog
    And all the best to the blogger for wonderful writing and everything 🙂

    • October 23, 2011 6:09 AM

      Sadly the blog is dormant for sometime..
      third year drains you of all energy…
      as soon as i’m over with my dissertation the blog will spring back to life 😀

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