Memories: On remembering Partition

Remembering Partition by involving Pakistan and Bangladesh would have been more apt

There is no question that a nation cannot know itself without knowing its past, and that the horrors of Partition must be acknowledged, archived, mourned and commemorated. The concern over the naming of the day at this point, however, is that it forces the nation to look back on this traumatic time rather than looking ahead. Given that the trauma was felt not just in India but in three countries, an attempt to mark the day across the subcontinent might have been more inclusive. It is necessary too, to remember not just the violence of 1947 but also the colonial hand that wrought Partition, hold the British Empire to account, and educate successive generations on the perils of imperialism, arbitrary map-making and sowing religious divides in order to rule. The Prime Minister’s reasoning, that the nation must be reminded of the “need to remove the poison of social divisions, disharmony and further strengthen the spirit of oneness, social harmony and human empowerment”, is welcome, but this is an effort to be practised every day, not just one day in the year.

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