We grew up hearing about the horrors of partition from my parents, grandparents and later in laws as well as friends.So as such never really felt the need to read partition literature except the Train to Pakistan.
A search for effect of partition on Delhi’s monuments led me to Anis Kidwai’s and I was hooked for reasons other than that.
Till then I thought that only those Muslims went to Pakistan who had wanted to migrate.
But Anis Kidwai talks of people forced to migrate ( some told it was temporary yet were never brought back) because their lands and houses had been given to refugees.
The plight of Lakhs who died. Of kafans too short but then at least it was something.
This independence day I would recommend Anis Kidwai’s book on partition ( Azadi ki chaanv mein : written in 1948, published 1974 ) translated by Ayesha Kidwai as In Freedom’s shade in 2011 to everyone for those who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it. As Anis Kidwai’s says in the preface, “Makers of the new world! Save yourself from the poison we drank to commit suicide.”
After describing the horrors of partition, she ends with the words, “if one does not appreciate the nature and reality of different faiths, both an enlightened soul and peace of mind will be denied to contemporary man.”