On this very day 67 years ago, the die was cast in a decision to carve up the Indian subcontinent. There was no going back. While this partition may have been wrought in a British barrister’s map room, it would ultimately be paid for by the blood of a million souls who perished in the ensuing madness.
The generation that witnessed and survived this madness did not do so unscathed. Rather, in spite of their outward resilience, they have borne the deepest wounds of terror and trauma in their minds. By and large, they have dealt with these painful memories through a system of suppression, and thus they are the generation of narrators…narrators whose stories have gone untold.
Be as it may, the India and Pakistan that were baptized in fire by this partition continue to come of age in this ever changing world. Yet as they struggle to confront and understand their individual identities, the memory of a shared past has been frayed over the past several decades.
As a first generation Indian-American, I would like to rekindle that memory. Why? Because while growing up here, I had the unique privilege of growing up with Pakistanis; something that neither the average Indian in India nor Pakistani in Pakistan has. And I can certainly say this: we simply have too much in common to be at odds with one another.
So let us join hands and sing the anthems of our great nations; after all, in the words of my grandparents, “we are only separated by a border”.