I am not a witness of the 1947 partition.I was born 42 years after the birth of Pakistan and grew up watching partition based dramas on 14th Augusts, all of which had the same stories.None of them touched my heart with a force as to compel me to write something for my country.This drama DAASTN did.While watching this serial i felt as if I had travelled all over from India to Pakistan with the other immigrants.
This was a clip from the serial Daastan based on the story of a girl Bano during the time of Indo Pak partition.My tribute to all the innumerable Musims of 1947 whose stories are now probably forgotten..It is a grief that while writing this article and searching for partition stories on the internet, I found that the majority of the stories were about the injustice done with the Hindus.Hardly few stories have put light on how hard the time was with Muslims.Bano is just one story,we donot know how many girls like Bano existed at that time and whether those laides are still alive today or not; and if yes then whether they are in proper mental condition or they lost their mental balance after they saw the pieces of the bodies of their dear ones.
It was hard to be a female in 1947.Girls did not only had to run to save their lives but also to save their honour.On both sides (Muslims and Hindus) countless girls were raped by the opponents in the fire of revenge.Girls would prefer present themselves to the male members of their community to slaughter them so that they could be saved from being raped by the riots of the opposing group.A million people were slaughtered in the religious rioting all over the sub continent.Moreover,the chaos was on such a peak that hardly any of the dead bodies were picked up and buried or burnt (incase of Hindus).If these dead bodies unfortunately went into the hands of the enemy,they would mistreat it to extinguish the fire of revenge burning inside them..the massacre was to such an extent that the garbage on streets and the gutters consisted of the bodies of dead.Families were cut to half either because their men were killed or the members got separated in the chaos and mess created during migration.But all this sacrifice was not due to partition.It was due to the unjust boundary division that compelled people to seek revenge for the injustice.Why this unjust division was done..here are the history facts I found:
> It was the deepest desire of Nehru to hand over Kashmir to India.If all Muslim majority areas were given to Pakistan then India would have lost its ground route to Kashmir.
> Ferozpur had weapon factories and Hyderabad also was an industrializing city.The British and the Hindus could not tolerate watching these two cities go with Pakistan.
I shall here mention few stories of that time which are not true but are close to reality and provide a clear reflection of what had happened at that time.
One such stories is KHOL DO by SAADAT HASAN MANTO.
“Khol Do” is basically a story of a father ‘Sirajuddin’ who had to left India during the partition days. Story starts with Sirajuddin finding himself on the railway platform of Mughalpura, Lahore. After the dreadful journey from Amritsar to Lahore in which hundreds were killed and injured and lost and raped, he just lay down for hours on the platform of Mughalpura. He wakes up and realizes that Sakina (his daughter) is not with him, nowhere. He tries to find her everywhere, still couldn’t find her and finally thinks he should ask someone for help.
After a few days, he finds that some young boys are doing a great job of bringing back the daughters and women remained on that side of the border. With a new ray of hope to see his daughter, he gives her description to those boys. “She is fair, very pretty. No, she doesn’t look like me, but her mother. About seventeen. Big eyes,black hair, a mole on the left cheek. Find my daughter. May God bless you.” Sirajuddin prays daily for their success and after a few days they find out Sakina…Those boys were out to find out Sakina and they have now found her… She was the daughter of their land, from their side of border. She had already gone through a lot. The boys behave very kindly to her and make her feel at ease but they tell nothing about her to her father even when he asks about it. Manto tells nothing about what is done to her, what the boys do… Only when Sirajuddin asks them about her, they just say “we will find her soon, we will!” and Sirajuddin just pray for their success…
And a few days later, people find a female body, half dead, near the railway track. In hopes of finding Sakina, Sirajuddin goes behind them to the hospital.The end goes like:
He stood outside the hospital for some time, then went in. In one of the rooms, he found a stretcher with some-one lying on it.The other story is MUTHI BHAR MITTI by UMERA AHMED..This story is about a well to do family of Patiala before partition..The whole story is presented by the author as if narrated by Jamal, the only member of the family left after few years of partition..Jamal was only 14 years old when India and Pakistan were separated..His father was a successful peasant and was a conservative man so did not send his three daughters to school.his elder brother Muzaffar was a talented person and was achieving his higher education..Jamal's father was an anti Muslim League and an anti partition man.He would always say:
A light was switched on. It was a young woman with a mole on her left cheek. “Sakina,” Sirajuddin screamed.
The doctor, who had switched on the light, stared at Sirajuddin.
“I am her father,” he stammered.The doctor looked at the body and felt for the pulse. Then he said to the old man: “Open the window.”
The young woman on the stretcher moved slightly. Her hands groped for the cord which kept her salwar tied around her waist. With painful slowness, she unfastened it, pulled the garment down and opened her thighs.
“She is alive. My daughter is alive,” Sirajuddin shouted with joy.
The doctor broke into a cold sweat.
"Its pretty idiotic to leave all my lands and my property here only because Pakistan is for Muslims!!Jinnah is a mad man..No one would leave their motherland only for the sake of religion"
Jamal was only an immature boy at that time and did not understand what was going on.It was Muzaffar who had started to take part in muslim League campaigning and was very impressed by Jinnah.On his return to home daily, he used to tell them about the Two Nation Theory and the necessity of a new country for the Muslims of the Sub Continent.Jamal, his mother and his three sisters would listen to Muzaffar and observe the excitement on his face whenever he mentioned Jinnah's name.He used to say:
"There is some magic in his voice.Whenever he says something, he hindu leaders have no answer to his logic.Today the Hindus are the pet dogs of British people. If the British leave the Sub continent, Hindus will take their place and I dont want to live a slave or a pet dog of Hindus"
During those days mass murder of Muslims had begun..One day Muzaffar and his mother did not return home.Jamal's father left home in search of both of them..It was then that the horror of Jamal's life began.His father returned home with the pieces of body of Muzaffar and his mother..His father did not show the bodies to Jamal and his sisters.He took them in a room and then Jamal heard his father's voice:
"Right leg..nose..left ear..left hand..thumb..four fingers.."
He would then go out again and find and bring back Muzaffar's lost body pieces..Jamal then saw his father pick up thread and needle and then he went into the room in which the bodies of his mother and Muzaffar were present..Jamal then realized why his father had taken the thread and the needle..he would stitch all the body parts together.
In the next few days, Jamal discovered few more horrors like one of his sisters raped and killed by Hindu extremists who had not liked Muzaffar working for Muslim League and his father planning to kill his rest two sisters since he wanted them to die safely without being physically tortured by Hindus..and this was what happened..Jamal's father burnt the house and the flames engulfed his two sisters..it was then that Jamal and his father travelled from Patiala with other Muslim immigrants to Pakistan.
My purpose here to mention two of these stories is not to raise any sort of aggression against any religion or sect, neither do I intend to attract the readers to my blog through these stories..Its only the fact about the human nature that you remember things well from stories..I only wanted to highlight these forgotten stories and wanted to revive the 1947 enthusiasm to make our country better..Our ancestors faced more than they could bear and so we must not let their sacrifices be forgotten.If today we are facing destruction, its only because of our own mistakes and only because we have forgotten the three golden principles: unity, faith and discipline. Gandhi, once addressing Hindus said:
" It is a matter of deep humiliation that we Hindus regard several million of our own kith and kin as too degraded even for our touch."
I think the same goes for us, Muslims, also..Today we are so much divided amongst ourselves that we cannot handle this motherland for which we fought and succeeded and now to camouflage our mistakes we have created new debates for example "The creation of Pakistan was a mistake and it would have been better to lead a life of slavery than living in this country"..Let us reunite and improve ourselves first individually and then on large scale so that we do not have to see the partition of Pakistan in future.
I would like to quote a very touching statement from the novel Muthi Bhar Khak.It is a good answer to all those who say that nothing remains now in this country.
"There is nothing in any country.A country is just a piece of land.The real thing in this piece of land is inside its inhabitants.Weakness is a part of people not a country.This weakness, if present, becomes the introduction of that country.It becomes a signboard for that country, which then that country always has to carry"