On the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India, an eyewitness Rajender Vohra narrates heart-wrenching events that could never fade out of his memory.
The survivors of the Partition of India find it very hard to speak of the painful details about their traumatic experiences.
Many survivors remember it as a reminder of the days when humanity lost its battle to cruelty. For them it is the story of loss & pain, humiliation and failure.
Rajender Vohra was seven years of age at the time of Partition. His father was an automobile engineer in a Peshawer based company.
Mr Vohra shared what he experienced almost 70 years ago with SBS Punjabi in a very emotional manner.
“It is the worst part of India’s history. We had ‘tears of blood’. I still can't understand how people can be so cruel.”
“We used to live in Peshawer [now in Pakistan]. It was peaceful until the days of Partition struck.”
Mr Vohra told SBS that he still have nightmares of a shocking event that left one of his childhood friends brutally killed.
“We had a pool near our house where we used to play. One evening, I was playing with my seven year old friend named Laccho,” he said.
“I saw a few men coming towards our playground. Suddenly, one of them raised his pistol and killed Laccho on the spot.”
“It was chaotic, kids were crying, we went into hiding. My mother-father couldn’t explain why it’s happening.”
“I was too young to understand why someone would kill my seven year old friend.”
“The situation was terrible. We could hear raised voices and slogans.”
“Our family decided to escape to Amritsar. At the Peshawer train station no-one knew what was happening. It was over-crowed and everyone was running for life.”
“The situation was no better at Amritsar. The city was totally out of control.”
“It is too difficult to remember the scenes of riots, massacres, and helpless women being violated and raped.”
“Six-months after the partition, sweets were served in our school. School was celebrating with our teachers saying ‘India got Independence’.”
“What Independence? I didn’t touch sweets that were served in my school to celebrate the occasion. How could I forget the face of my friend Laccho who was killed in front of me?”
“It was politicians who divided our country. People still want to go along well. But it doesn’t fit into the interests of political parties from both sides of the border.”