How this border transformed a subcontinent | India & Pakistan


This is the Golden Temple. People come here from all over the world to
bathe in its waters, to look at the Holy Book that
is inside of this middle Golden Temple and to just experience the holiness of
this place. This place is the epicenter of Sikhism. It sits right here in
northern India in a city called Amritsar. Close by there’s another important Sikh site
called Kartarpur. It was established by the founder of Sikhism
more than 500 years ago. It’s the place where he spent the last years
of his life and it is the second holiest place in Sikhism. For centuries, Sikhs have been able to make pilgrimage between these two sites to move freely throughout their heartland. But in 1947 a British lawyer drew a border here turning what had been British India into
two new countries, India and Pakistan. I could only call it one of the most bizarre
lines, which were ever drawn across a map It went right here with the Golden Temple
on one side and Katarpur on the other. Thanks to this border Sikhs in India are now
cut off from their holy site. So many come here to a platform that the Border
Patrol set up. The platform looks across the border
where with the help of telescopes, Sikhs can look at their holy place just three
or four kilometers away. In addition to cutting off communities from
their sacred sites, this border separated families, cut across
rivers, forests, farms, railroad tracks. Today this border is heavily fortified with
nearly all 3,000, plus kilometers fenced. It’s lit so well that you can see it from space and barely anything or anyone crosses over it When we talk about the drawing of the line, what was the most painful was the division
of families which took place and that is a very big reality. This is the story of a violent
separation. One of the most traumatic events of the 20th century It’s the story of how a hastily drawn line
on a map separated one people into two. This is a horror story. What we saw was a town soaked with the stench of death. In the train of murder and arson, come the
refugees. Their suffering is the new tragedy of India. Many will never reach their new land. These are the things that are setting the
heart burning on either side of the line. The sun is setting and I’m walking along one
of the oldest roads in Asia One that used to connect this region but today
a border runs through it and instead of connection and trade what you
see here is this: There’s barbed wire, there’s fences, there
are officers everywhere and yet, there’s also ice-cream and popcorn
and paraphernalia. This feels like a sporting event. You can buy keychains of machine guns. Thousands of spectators file in, filling this stadium
that looks down on the border. On the other side Pakistanis are doing the
same. Then, both sides start their different show. Two hours of chanting and dancing Then the finale, a face-off between the
two sides. They strut back and forth in this coordinated
choreography and it all ends with the lowering of
each flag and the closing of this gate. This bizarre border show plays out every
evening. But this ceremony, this fence, this intense
nationalism If you rewind just a little in time, none
of this existed. The British controlled parts of
India for nearly 200 years but by 1947, a strong movement of independence
was swelling across the subcontinent while back in Britain, the country was in
massive debt after fighting World War II and didn’t have the resources to
hold on to their colony so they started making plans to leave India. British officials thought that a proper transfer
of power would probably take around five years but when the British leader in charge arrived
in early 1947, he hastily decided to shrink their exit timeline and so what needed five years would now
need to be done in just four months. British India was to be split into two
independent nations, a mostly Muslim Pakistan and a Hindu majority,
but officially secular India. To do the actual drawing of the border, the
British brought in a lawyer from London. He arrived the month before the British
were supposed to leave India. He hadn’t been to British India before and
didn’t know much about the region. He had no idea about India, no idea about
Indian geography, no idea about Indian politics. And yet, he was the one drawing the lines
on the map that would affect millions of lives. During his visit, this British
lawyer looked at maps and census data, focusing on the maps that showed
religious identity of people in India. India has a wide variety of religions
and based on these census maps, you can see that people of all religions lived
amongst each other all over the region. So to draw the line the British lawyer
looked at individual districts putting any district that had a Muslim majority
population into the new country of Pakistan, while Hindu and Sikh majority
districts would be kept within India. Based on this method the lawyer began to
see what a border might look like. He only had five weeks to do this. He later wrote that it would have taken years
to settle on a proper boundary and that’s because this method
of drawing the line conceals that within these districts there were
sizable communities of all religions that had been living side-by-side
for centuries all throughout India. August 15 1947, Independence Day for India
and Pakistan The British lawyer left that day. He would never return to India again. Two days after independence the borders were
made public, prompting more than 14 million people to leave
their homes, their lives for what was now their side of the border. We were told that you have to cross the border
to India. Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan moved into
India and many Muslims in India moved into the new
Pakistan. These were people who were indeed forced to lose their entire homes, their memories, their childhood and the things they saw. It was one of the largest
forced migrations of people ever and it was chaos, a chaos that led to widespread
unspeakable violence cities on fire, sexual violence against women,
trains, full of dead bodies. The survivors I talked to were just
children when all of this happened. The division of the sub-continent became
known as the partition of India. A phrase synonymous with trauma fueled by the reckless mismanagement of an imperial
power. I’m in a small village right near the border on the Indian side that used to be a Muslim community before
partition. And in the middle of town is this shrine where residents would conduct ornate Muslim
burial practices on these graves. Look at the original maps at the British drew
up when they were trying to draw this line. This town was actually in Pakistan in most
of the maps. But in the end the British lawyer
decided to draw the line here. The people here discovered that they
were now a part of the new country of India and so many of them fled just across the border
to the new state of Pakistan and they left this place empty. But just as Muslims were leaving this
village for the new Pakistan, Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan were coming
across into India and some ended up here. The Hindus and Sikhs that now live in
this community have taken it upon themselves to continue the Muslim traditions
that this community was based off of. They continue to maintain these graves and
these symbols even though they don’t necessarily pertain
to their own religion. This is a sign of respect, of common
identity in spite of the border. But this is just one side of the story. The sub-continent echoes and shudders to
the sounds of a full-scale undeclared war. Within just a few months of drawing this border, India and Pakistan were fighting an all-out
war. One that centered on this region in the north,
which both sides claimed as their own. The new countries would fight several
more wars over the years, a border fence would eventually fortify
the majority of this boundary, and both countries would acquire nuclear weapons turning up the tensions and deepening
the division. But if you take away the geopolitical bluster,
the nukes, the barrier, the trauma of partition, you can still see how much these two countries
have in common. I’m at a school in Delhi. Students are skyping with a school in Pakistan. These kids are speaking a similar
language and it takes them just minutes to dive into the common roots of their
culture. This shared identity with these kids are
feeling isn’t uncommon in India and Pakistan. Same language, same taste, same food Hindus and Muslims and Sikhs used to live
together, attend each other’s social
functions, marriages, everything. We have this divide now. If you stand in the wall
city in Amritsar and you stand in the walled city in Lahore believe me, the smells, which is a kind
of giveaway are the same. I’m visiting a group of Sikhs coming off
the train. They were able to get a visa to go visit this
religious site that most have to see through a telescope. So with all these cultural similarities, all
these happy faces, shared interests? How do you explain this? You see, it is a politician, who poisons
people’s minds. The divide is created, nurtured, fostered
because it suits a certain politics. Over the years, politicians on both sides have
exploited tension with the other side to stoke feelings of nationalism. Back here at this viewing platform, there
are construction vehicles everywhere. For years, the Sikhs have lobbied for
easier access to their holy site and after years the two governments
finally agreed to build a little notch into this border, a corridor that will allow Sikhs
to freely access their site without a visa. These four kilometers will restore a small
part of what was once the Sikh heartland. But for millions of Indians and Pakistanis
who continue to live with the repercussions
of the traumatic events of 1947, this fortified and volatile border remains
unchanged. If anything, it’s getting thicker. Seventy years later, the shadow
of partition continues to divide families, halt trade, cut connection,
stop cooperation, instill fear, promote hatred and the people who live in its shadow on
both sides, old and young, continue to live with this division that’s superimposed
upon their history of deep connection.

100 thoughts on “How this border transformed a subcontinent | India & Pakistan

  1. Hi everyone. I hope you liked Ep1! If you want some behind the scenes on Vox Borders, become a member of the Video Lab. This Thursday I'll be doing a live Q&A with the whole Borders team to talk about how we make these episodes: http://bit.ly/vox-video-membership
    Also, Borders producer Christina Thornell's video recommendations are available to watch in the Lab now, as are a bunch of goodies from past seasons. Go check it out!

  2. Well the Universal truth is… That minority always is closed & thrown out…. Just like back in the days…us Muslim's were the minorities ….& cz of few narrow minded ppl… They brought up the this hatred… Among us… Our grand parents… Told us to many.. Incident.. That what they were going through.. Unequal… Justice… Soo.. Cz of all this… They migrated… Yes.. Our religion r different… & its special.. In its own… But.. The truth is… Hindu & Muslim's cant never be together… In india… They roast Pakistani.. By memes… Videos… & same.. Does pakistan… The moment… We r born… Its declared that… U r not be friendly with pakitan/india…i just wanna.. Say… Respect.. Thats.. All

  3. Really informative but lost me at the end with the super positive “it’s only the politicians” causing conflict conclusion. Throughout human history wars have been fought by neighboring groups. Eating the same food and speaking the same language doesn’t negate all the other issues. Ireland/Northern Ireland, South and North Korea not to mention past wars between Germany and Austria or the US and Canada. Also, India is a democracy so if the people wanted peace with Pakistan politicians would probably cut the aggressive rhetoric.

  4. I am watching this on 14th August the independence day pf Pakistan , and tomorrow we indian will celebrate our independence day ( 15 August ). ❤️❤️❤️

  5. Based on this,kashmir is 90% muslims, hence it’s illegally occupied by india. We’re not same nation. We are happy we are Pakistanis.

  6. Kindly recheck history, who claim for different Muslim country.. .! Ask any Muslim will all ask seperate country, state..

  7. Most bizzare border, you say? The Pashtuns who were divided by the Durrand Line would like to have a word with you.

  8. It should be noted that within the Indian Independence Movement, the All India Muslim League demanded partition and the INC generally opposed it. After independence there was an immediate civil war. There was no "One People" it divided since, after the fall of the Mughals, India had not been a single country and wouldn't be until the British. The British made India a single country and partition was arguably the more natural state but there was such an ethnic mixture in the northwest that no matter how or where the line was drawn, there were going to be problems. I don't think the British's decolonization program was some attempt at colonialist chauvinism, quite the opposite. That British lawyer did the best he could with an impossible situation.

  9. I have lot to say but I'm unable to to frame my words of what I'm feeling after watching this video.
    I'm I d only one?

  10. We love u Pakistan,
    Chahe kuch b ho we r still brothers,don't believe news and politicians please.
    I hope u guys do well and be happy.
    Love from India

  11. Dont blame the British, it was the muslims that didn't want to live under Sikh rule and created Pakistan … see a trend .. yeh..muslims and killing everyone who disagree with them.

  12. The Brits messed up everything. They couldn't leave India united so they purposely stirred conflict between Hindus and Muslims and then the eventual partition. While some argue that Colonization by European countries did more good than bad, I beg to defer. Globalization could have occurred without colonization.This is evident in so many countries such as Canada where millions of Aboriginal people died. Shame on them.

  13. One must understand the two nation theory. We were same in all aspects except the religion as religion for muslim is more than their life and if you dont let other to practice their religion such borders going to be created again and again.

  14. The moment the video showed how school children (from both countries) were communicating with one another, it filled my heart with joy and to some extent hope for the future.

  15. The ideological differences between Pak and India are huge. They can live separately and have mutual respect for other but we can't live together. The creature they worship as a god, we guys eat it. All we can do is avoid war and resolve are issues with dialogue.

  16. one terror funding stops….. and people of pakistan will focus on career and culture, that day we will unite. it will require atleast 20-30 years more.

  17. My ancestors left 100 acres of land in agartola. I wonder if there is any chance we can be that rich again.

  18. Brilliant video/doco on the "Partition" of India. I have learned about it before, and it puzzles me why did they have to break it up?
    For very long all sects lived in peace within India, until the Poms came along and in good imperial standing, and moronic understanding, decided they had to do it in four months, and India has lived in pieces ever since.
    Ditto for China, and look at the mess Hong Kong has become!!
    Why did the Brits had to break it up?

  19. The age old story of waring brothers and sacrificial lambs besieges humanity, which really just wants to live in peace.
    How can that be?
    Jesus Christ pregonated love and compasion, as did Mohammed and many other prophets, yet the people that tells the story always suit their own beliefs and conviniences instead of the truth: that all humans are equal and we love to live, and we should live to love!!

  20. Politicians on both side (after independence) has done No better in all these years either. Wonder only if it was still administered by whites. It's a beautiful land.. But inhabited by uninhabitable

  21. Instead of partitioning India the British should've left it as it is, so Pakistanis and Indians (Hindus and Muslims) would live together in the same country.

  22. Why didn't you show Imran Khan, the prime minister if Pakistan, speaking against India? Because he does not. Don't lump both nations in the same category. Majority of Indian politicians use Indian sentiments against Pakistan to win their elections, while Pakistani politicians hardly ever talk about India during elections, let alone spread hatred against India. Please get your facts straight.

  23. Just how they made israel which was in northeast Africa but now it’s called the middle east 😂🤣😂 the middle of what just so it won’t be part of Africa but the people over there know the real!!!!!

  24. No doubt, we love our Indian brothers. But the ghost of politics makes it worse for both nations to have peaceful relations.

  25. The western men trying to divide and conquer the asian men. And in the present , the Asian men divide and conquers the western men.

  26. This video has thousands of quick cuts yet it seems super slow paced. Classic editing lesson: just because you cut from shot to shot every half a second does not make the story more interesting or more fast paced. I would love to see a proper video on this topic from some other channel.

  27. Hi, like ur videos. I think u don't get enough time for research, always India was the aggressor in all the wars and kashmir is Muslim populated area and karthapur initiative was taken by the present government of Pakistan to provide a chance for peace. Today is 17 August 2019 and Indian occupied kashmir the whole area is under curfew for the past 13 days. Please make a video of hindu aggression on its minorities let the world know the truth. Thankyou for hardwork much appreciated.

  28. Sikh are decent and good people.
    Its not the politicians that makes the problem but some of the hindu or the RRS group.

  29. The Partitions was done by British ruler wrong
    They leaved the Muslims majority population territory kashmir.
    "To the without solution of Occupied Kashmir issue peace not Possible b/w PakIndia" write this sentence on paper

  30. If India and Pakistan could get along and show as much compassion as the Hindus and Sikhs take care of that Mosque in Massanian both countries would be great friends

  31. If both the Indian and Pakistani governments communicated like those kids did Skyping the two countries would be great friends

  32. British are good at spertaring people, just look the way they separated the pashtoon people, 1 side on Afghanistan and 1 side on Pakistan, all thanks to British 😐

  33. Im a pakistani muslim and i agree that our culture is very similar and we have alot in common and also agree that the leaders are the only people that want war between these two very similar countries

  34. 3.52 – You can buy keychains like machine guns…dear anchor yes those are the toy guns keychains unlike USA where in anyone can buy a REAL Machine gun! Please choose your words wisely. I understand promoting voilance or hate never justified. I get it.

  35. Vox left wing white racist organisation. If you disagree with them and their Arab and Muslim buddies you are ….expletive … still he kept his normative white left racism pretty much in check despite his bosses trying to dictate the normative anti India stuff they normally do 24/7 on most western channels and Al Jazeera which is run ex bbb staff. Still to be fair it was ok by western standards. Still nice border and ok reporting for normative leftie racist whites. We expect no sympathy from the racist left or right when it comes to whites.

  36. I dont understand the concept of doing all chaos at the border…The ones on other side are also part of ours , they r our ppl . There isnt anything like india and pakistan for most of the natives ..its just due to the politics and their interior motives that one is india and other is pakistan.They play well with the minds and emotions of theor respective natives. If political leaders hav chosen truth and love .There wud hav been one happy family. PERIOD

  37. Lipstick on a pig! Oh poor innocent people!Oh those baaaad politicians exploiting , wait… how is it possible to exploit something what doesn't exist?

  38. That Indian premier's (president's? prime minister's?) speech about Indians being more educated and less violent than Pakistanis, reminded me of hearing some similar sentiments about Pakistani immigrants to the UK from a friend's parents who had emigrated from India. Divide and conquer indeed.

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