India House in London marks Partition Horrors Remembrance Day

India House in London marks Partition Horrors Remembrance Day

Indian High Commission in the UK on Monday hosted a photo exhibition and a ceremony to mark 'Partition Horrors Remembrance Day'. On the occasion, the Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Vikram Doraiswami inaugurated an exhibition of photographs of the partition horrors.

 The 'Partition Horrors Remembrance Day' was observed at India House in London's Aldwych. People present at the ceremony watched the photographs of the partition displayed on the screen. 

On the occasion, Vikram Doraiswami, High Commissioner of India to the UK, said, that India's celebration of independence was always somewhat mixed as it came at a "very high price." He said that they cannot undo what happened in history and how much pain it brought to the people.

In his address, Vikram Doraiswami said, "We are of course habituated to celebrating our independence tomorrow, 15th August, with the spirit of a nation and people who found our own voice and own destiny and our own capacity to chart our own destiny in an epic freedom struggle that in many senses was unique and certainly defined the age that became the age that ended colonialism. But, our joy and our celebration of independence was always a somewhat mixed one because that independence came at a very heavy human price."

Vikram Doraiswami stated that everyone lost something during the partition. He noted that India's history puts upon the people a moral obligation to ensure that people in India live in a manner that is appropriate to the memory of all those who died and who were displaced during the partition. 

"We cannot undo what has happened in history but we can remember what happened. How much pain it brought to people, in particular, women and children who suffered extra during partition, all who lost either a loved one or who lost a sense of their own identity. After all, not everybody lost family but everybody lost something. And that is for all of us irrespective of which part of India we come from," the Indian Envoy said. 

"So, the purpose of this exercise today is to remember what our history, what our history covers and what our memory has sometimes led us to forget. It is said that those who forget the lessons of history are condemned to remember it again and again. This is the last thing we should want to remember again in a sense in the form of repetition.

"Our history enjoins upon us and our civilizational heritage enjoins upon us a certain moral obligation to ensure that we in India live in a manner that is appropriate to the memory of all those who died and all those who were displaced in partition and that we ensure that we never allow those tragedies to defecate. That responsibility is ours and it's ours to pass on to our subsequent generations including our children and grandchildren," he added. 

One of the partition survivors who came to India during the partition shared her experience through a poem. Speaking to ANI, she said, "We were told that you are going for a few days and we will come back. We did not even take many clothes as we were told that we have to come back." She also recalled her past house and how they lived before the partition.

 Speaking to ANI, Brij Mohan Gupta MDE said that he came to India at the age of 13 years during the partition. He said they had a family of nine people, including uncles and aunts. He said that they had a wholesale business and a shop. He said that they came to India barefoot and their elders without a turban. He said that they gave everything, including jewellery to save his sister's life. 

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered those who lost their lives during the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.

"Partition Horrors Remembrance Day is an occasion to reverently remember those Indians whose lives were sacrificed in the partition of the country. Along with this, this day also reminds us of the suffering and struggle of those who were forced to bear the brunt of displacement. I salute all such people," PM Modi said in a tweet in Hindi.


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