How this border transformed a subcontinent | India & Pakistan
At 6:00 minutes:
What the British described as needing 5 years to power transfer took 4 months...
Cyril Radcliffe who had never been to India - a lawyer - brought in one month before..with no idea of Indian politics or geography...yet drew lines affecting millions of lives (almost) perpetually.
He used maps and census data to look at religious identities of people and found that people of all religions lived amongst each other all over the region.
He only had 5 weeks to do this and said it would take years to draw a proper boundary.
Cyril Radcliffe had to conceal the fact that there were size-able communities of all religions e.g. the district below Amritsar and Shekhupura viz. Lahore:
Composition in Percentages:
61% - Muslims
18% - Sikh
17% - Hindu
4% - Christian
These people had lived side by side for centuries.
The British lawyer left on Aug the 15th.
The borders (of a partitioned India) were made public 2 days later, prompting 14 million people to leave their homes/lives (in a panic) with ensuing chaos that led to unspeakable violence.
All this was fueled by the reckless mismanagement of an imperial power.
Despite that, Sikhs are still looking after a pre-47 Muslim community village (with shrines) in a place which Radcliffe decided would be in India viz. Massanian which proves that there is a common identity despite border.
If you take away the geopolitical bluster today, you can still see how much both sides have in common.
A school in Pakistan:
"Before partition, we Pakistanis and Indians used to live together in the same place."
At 12:37 minutes:
These kids (Skype calling between Indian & Pakistani schools) are speaking a similar language and it takes them just minutes to dive into the common roots of their culture.
It is the politician who poisons people's minds.
The divide is created, nurtured, fostered because it suits a certain politics.
Over the years politicians on either side have exploited tension to stoke feelings of nationalism.
The reason for hatred of the other are politicians.
Over 70 years later, in many ways the divide is getting thicker; to divide families, halt trade, cut connection, stop cooperation, instill fear, promote hatred and prolong a division that's superimposed upon their history of deep connection.