As India And Pakistan Mark 70 Years Of Independence, An Archive Preserves Memories Of 1947 Partition : Parallels : NPR

Muslim refugees crowd onto a train as they try to flee India near New Delhi in September 1947. Some 15 million people crossed new borders during the violent partition of British-ruled India. At times, mobs targeted and killed passengers traveling in either direction; the trains carrying their corpses became known as “ghost trains.”

Associated Press


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Associated Press

Muslim refugees crowd onto a train as they try to flee India near New Delhi in September 1947. Some 15 million people crossed new borders during the violent partition of British-ruled India. At times, mobs targeted and killed passengers traveling in either direction; the trains carrying their corpses became known as “ghost trains.”

Associated Press

As India and Pakistan celebrate 70 years of independence this week, the legacy of the August 1947 Partition of British-ruled India that resulted in the birth of these two nations is something both are still coming to terms with.

Religious violence exploded as Hindus and Sikhs fled toward India, and Muslims toward Pakistan, the newly created homeland for South Asia’s Muslims. Millions of people were uprooted and displaced from cities, towns and villages where their families had lived for generations.

It was the largest mass migration of the 20th century. Over the course of a year, an estimated 15 million people crossed borders that were drawn up in haste by the British Empire.

Along the way, scenes of brutality played out: Mobs rampaged through cities and countryside, attacking and killing members of religions not their own. “Ghost trains” full of…

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