Beginning on a straight forward note, one must have seen numerous ventures written or visualized on the subject of Indian partition of 1947 in all these past decades. Yet this truthful BBC documentary is still capable of giving you the same terrifying fears back through some more shocking secrets revealed by many scary real life accounts and interviews. Admitting it honestly, post the two most well researched and brilliantly conceived projects on Indian Partition, namely FREEDOM AT MIDNIGHT (The Book) and TAMAS (The TV Movie/Serial), the present BBC documentary remains the third not to missed attempt on the subject, which fearlessly discloses the hidden political drama behind one of the most tragic and biggest migrations in the world history.
The film tell the story of those bloody months of 1947 through various testimonies of people who were forced to leave their ancestral homes after living together for centuries, despite all the religious disparities. The documentary also has some dramatised reconstructions which actually reveal many undisclosed facts, which are sure going to surprise the youth (in particular) who might not be knowing or have read much on the most unfortunate happening in the history of India.
To give you an idea, it tells you how the British officials hurriedly took many major decisions disregarding the possible dangerous outcome in various regions of the country, especially Punjab. The well directed film clearly showcases that how it was earlier decided that the split will be there in the summer of 1948 after long negotiations between Lord Mountbatten, Mohammed Ali Jinha and Jawaharlal Nehru. But then it was suddenly announced that the British Empire would actually be granting the freedom a year ahead than planned in August 1947. It further reveals how the border line of this partition was drawn by a person, who had never been to India and knew nothing about the religious and cultural diversification existing in the country. Moreover it also tells the fact that how numerous Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims were being slaughtered all over, since the British army was too small in numbers in front of the huge mobs and therefore couldn’t stop it well in time.
Through many noteworthy accounts of real eyewitnesses of that mad massacre, it makes you aware how all the political leaders of that time manipulated the people in the name of religion resulting in merciless bloodbath, loots, rapes and killing of innocent children too just because of the disastrous partition. How everybody started behaving like lunatics in only few weeks, how friends turned into enemies overnight and how several brave individuals saved their neighbors too from the communal attacks. Trying to combine all the individually managed states into one country, the government was actually not prepared enough to handle such a vast outbreak of riots due to the mass migration, which probably affected the women, children and the old in the most horrifying manner beyond imagination.
But most importantly the enlightening interviews also reveal an ugly truth that even before this ill-timed partition, there still used to be such disgusting traditions which clearly divided the people according to their followed religion. Like the two major sects were not willing to drink from the same tap, a person from another religion was not allowed to enter the kitchen in other’s house, jobs were being offered on religious preferences and thus there did exist an undercurrent of hatred for the other religion even before the frightening independence.
These rare facts in fact make this documentary even a more important, must watch at the earliest, since it does tell you a shocking truth that at times,
“Religion can also become one of the most dangerous threats to life, if not understood or followed in the right manner.”
So if you do wish to see a better future for all the future generations to come, then do watch this documentary as a must and learn the much desired lesson of PEACE………., as soon as possible.
Directed By Ricardo Pollack