LAHORE: The history of partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 had been distorted in both the countries for nationalist purposes which amplified religious intolerance in their societies.
This was said by speakers at a panel discussion on book titled “The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansed, ”a press release stated. The book was written by Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed. This is the second edition of the book which marks the 70th anniversary of the partition of Punjab. It contains accounts by eyewitnesses, survivors, and even participators, each uniquely reflecting the tragedy of the partition.
The event was organised by Quaid-e-Azam Political Science Society of Government College University Lahore on Friday. Eminent historians and academicians participated in the panel discussion. GCU Vice-Chancellor Prof Hassan Amir Shah chaired the panel discussion which was also addressed by eminent scholars.
In his remarks, IT University Lahore Assistant Professor Dr Yaqoob Bangash said a bloodied movement or process of cleansing the society from minorities had begun at the time of partition, but later it could not be stopped. He added with a passage of time, it took the shape of a sectarian movement. He also highlighted the conflicts between the oral history and archival history of partition. Similarly, GCU Political Science Department Chairperson Prof Khalid Manzoor Butt said that use of religion in politics always lead to intolerance. “It is evident from history that whenever religion is used in politics, it ends with violence and bloodshed,” he said.
He said the government’s version of history had been taught to the students in schools, colleges and universities since independence.
LUMS Professor Dr Ali Usman Qasmi said the partition of India in 1947 resulted in the biggest forced migration in history. “It also resulted in the killing of one million Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs of which 500,000 to 800,000 people were from Punjab,” he added.
“Though historians failed to narrate this violence, but at least some masterpieces of Urdu literature has highlighted these experiences,” he concluded.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 3rd, 2018.