It’s a welcome change for the BBC to focus on the partition of India. For too long the only history we get is the Tudors, WW1 and WW2. Almost ignored are the Industrial Revolution and the Empire which created the world in which we live and has determined the multi-cultural nature of the UK post WW2 . It’s a myth that we shed our empire gracefully. Our communities will understand each other better if the truth is acknowledged. The Partition of India led to the biggest migration in history and indescribable suffering . It could have been avoided After the Massacre at Amritsar the demand for home rule and Dominion status like Canada and Australia was loud in this country as well as in India but racism meant it didn’t happen. When we had no choice but to leave India we did it in haste. The lines of partition of a sub-continent were drawn in 50 days ( It takes 30 times that to draw just 50 miles of road or rail in the UK today) We brought forward the date of Independence and left in haste leaving the just formed governments of India and Pakistan to deal with the mess. Shameful! This country has a lot to be proud of but not admitting our mistakes is not one of them .
For my second novel my focus is on early Indian history and pre-Millennium Oxford and India . I’ve finished the 5th re-write and working on edits and minor changes. Its lighter than Brushstrokes in Time and has a lot of humour but is not a whitewash of Britain or India both of which I love.
Part of my husband’s family’s story of pre Partition and in the process of Partition is in this feature I wrote for the Madras Courier.