60 years ago a nation was torn apart and I wonder if there will ever be a point in time if they could reconcile? Probably not, as the way it happened or was allowed to happen is unforgettably tragic.
The legacy of those fateful days continues to haunt many. The tales of displacement slaughter and resettlement transformed the lives of millions. The negativity created has caused ripples and political ramifications that generations will never forget.
It may be relatively easy for us to question why it happened. Many of us were not there at the time. Did the climate and those in power at the time ever anticipate the extent and reach of their decisions? Were these individuals so cold or just too innocent? Was there an ultimatum laid down by the British that has never been documented? Or, were the British so cunning that their ‘divide and rule’ policy had an air of vindictiveness so vile that they had a fit of jealously, running on the lines of, ‘If we can’t have India then no one can’!? Having enjoyed the riches of India for over 200 years they may have adopted this attitude.
When I hear my father recall the events of him reaching Amirtsar railway station in a humanitarian effort to save those who came in on the trains from the newly emerging country of Pakistan, the view of communal violence is unbelievable. These two nations were formed through the blood of the innocent.
60 years on although much is said about India’s emergence as a world economic power, there are still so many challenges. The survival of the fitness still rules as 80 percent of the population are still living in an extreme poor way.
Only this Sunday I read about exploitation of workers from India recruited by agents and then forced to work in inhumane conditions in Mauritius for tiny wages and 72 hours a week. This was not what freedom was supposed to be about. Although colonialism has gone it has been replaced by multi-national greed and local disrespect.
India may be surfacing as an outsource power house with graduates and science parks to match – fast becoming the back-office centre for the world, yet its communist neighbour China, still appears to a preferred powerhouse for manufacturing and investment by the West.
Both will probably continue to ‘pitch it out’. However, will the division of the rich verses the poor in both countries continue to be stretched apart?
60 years on India at least is growing but is it growing in a fair and honest way that will bring all of its people up to a sense of harmonised international standards?