How this border transformed a subcontinent | India & Pakistan

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:
    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. Wow. Respect to Siekh brothers who are maintaining the mosque 🕌. Much love from Canadaian 🍁 Pakistani 🇵🇰

  3. Thanks for making video on this issue pakistan was necessary for muslims thank GOD and thanks QUAID E AZAM MUHAMAD ALI JINAH who did a good job

  4. Proud to be pakistani and proud on my grandparents who took a wise decision to migrate from india to pakistan pakistan stay blessed forever love and respect for all

  5. We were friends..we were hasty decision..ONE..made us rivals..pushed us at each other's throats.. we're still at it..and would probably be at eachother's throats until as long as both these countries exist..all for ONE hasty decision..Listen to them..I have not seen it..but feel it..We were brothers.. We'll never be one..

  6. Best video I ever seen on YouTube!!! Love You Brother!! Thanks for the beautiful video 🙂 You are making a hole in my heart <3

  7. this is not for you, and dont try to use india for your western waste . we indian dont want any western waste in our mother land . we again rule the world , just wait and watch , jai hind

  8. Weird how you managed to overlook Prime Minister Imran Khan's pacifism and peace initiatives and so conveniently portrayed him as a hate-politician! Also, my grandparents and our entire family migrated from India to Pakistan. There are a lot of important things your documentary has missed.

  9. Please make a video about Kashmir, and how Pakistan wants it to be free but India wants Kashmir to be a part of itself and the people are the ones who are getting hurt instead of being nurtured by two countries they are being smothered and killed by the soliders especially now that India has imposed the removal of section 370 which means curfew, killings and zero connection of Kashmir with outside world. @vox please make an educational video about it.

  10. This made me cry. As a daughter of a Punjabi family this video holds so much respect and honor which I cannot even express. Thank you for sharing this story it really truly makes a difference.

  11. Idk why but I feel offended by all these uk India Pakistan and Bangladesh coz I'm bangladeshi but I live in britain

  12. India & Pakistan are truly like two brothers.. India, the elder brother & Pakistan the younger brother. Among the brothers.. there is so much shared memory.. so much joyful moments.. but if the brothers were to get antagonistic.. the hate & animosity between them would also be immense & deep.

  13. It's a heart touching video for us Indians and pakisthanis or truely may know as United great indians or United States of Indian subcontinent

  14. Excellent reporting by Vox … you gaining a lot of respect of how you report your stories … Please do not change your methods of professionalism in journalism proudly subbed into your channel.

  15. Speaking of continents, did you know that there are only two countries in this continent that teach in their schools that America is two separated continents? Not just one as widely known by the other 33 countries in America? How about you making a video explaining why in the US and Canada people are taught there are 7 continents and in the rest of the world they teach there are only 5 (as in the Olympic games logo). And what is the vox opinion on the matter.

  16. I apoligise if my question is ignorant, but why did they have to partition the country, could they not have left it as one big country?

  17. I SALUTE the makers of this video, it deeply saddens me for the events but then also instils a dawn of realisation for unity and a better tomorrow.
    I speak with benevolence that I wish to see Pakistan and India together as one country, as it was before. Why divide and fight when we can unite and conquer.
    Let us awaken to what is real and not what is fed to us through media and politics.
    Yes, Brothers and Sisters let us be forerunners of this change and hope for peace and harmony, in the end that’s the only thing that matters.

  18. 13:00 This video makes me cry. Politicians are dividing one nation. We are one. Love from Pakistan to my Indian brothers and sisters

  19. Guru Nanak followers were not given their fair share, and infact they were betrayed by the hindu leadership….else they could have nation and identity of their own 😢😢

  20. This is one of the best stories I have ever come across youtube, I really appreciate your work. Keep moving people.

  21. its countries like US and China that are provoking and funding for all these tentions between the two countries. like what the do most of time provoking proxy wars and civil wars in countries like syria, yamen, iraq etc

  22. 100 percent Indian perspective , with only clips of pakistani school children . Its no surprise that the Western Journalism ignores wholly the existence of Pakistan unless it comes to bad news although India is everywhere .

  23. Very sad partition happened because of religion and India made a big mistake at that time to remains secular we should have sent all muslim to Pakistan and Hindus & Sikhs should have been sent to India, if this was happened then India would have enjoying peace till now

  24. Another failure of "Great" Britain. Such inflamed nationals! They must be bored. Why don't they read a book? It frequently seems like those without a solid personal identity tend be strongly attracted to their national identity; and sports.

  25. Very sad in first few minutes itself I'm into tears 😞😟😢….and if you ain't familiar with what Indian Congress has done, u should be doing some research on it too… Terrorist activities has come down in past few years in India where as there are numerous attacks and terrible terrorizing events in past few decades, before MODI Ji became the new prime minister of this great nation and Pakistan is to be cornered to quit terrorism which has been recognized as a terrorist state and now it is a victim of it's own wrong doing, school children are being bombed and what is government of Pakistan doing "nothing" so India and some other countries which are concerned are trying to resolve and rehabilitation it to a peaceful place, silence had to be broken cause this nation(India)has suffered a lot cause of terrorism and we don't want our neighborhood to be main reason for this commotion … Overall an awesome video the way you guys made it makes it heart touching "hats off"

  26. all could live happily together but Brattish wanted something for the WAR market in the future and that's why they draw the line…

  27. Modi government has made the peace or the whole area dostirbed , this daily blame game and killings is a clear view of this mindset

  28. I appreciate your work. Be careful while you show some of the worlds greatest people speeches between the INAPPROPRIATE words. After 14:30 including MODI Ji is not a good move.

  29. Every country.. every bloggers.. highlighting this boarder besides Indian side …do you know Why?? people afraid Pak terrorism and believe in Indian democracy

  30. There is no aCtual problem in partition…

    All independant monarchies were free to choose. And the king of kahsmir joined india. However the kashmir valley has a higher population of muslims and hencevthey didnt want to leave the kashmir. Instead they called for the armed troops in pakistan to start a war to stop the annexation.

    The issue is however the UK gov deliberately supported islamic republic of pakistan and has never took an open stance.

  31. You are representing a wrong border in Jammu and Kashmir.
    Pok is a part of India which is ILLEGALLY captured by Pakistan

  32. Well, who can say that Britishers are well developed they don't even know how to organise anything they just make chaos in our country is this called organised and devloped ?

  33. Hi vox the video is very good but i m from NEPAL and i think u should do video of nepal betwwen india ,India take some of our land can you do thats please please

  34. Modi to kalboshan export krta ha or or sany Leon export krta ha . Ya sirf Modi ke lya ha lub you Indian 🙏❤️🇵🇰

  35. Maybe I am wrong, but if they were one nation spit into two, why did they leave their homes and why did they had conflicts? Why didn't everyone just stayed in their part and live in their own home and nation, and cooperate.Why was it a problem that they lived in county where their religion was a minority, if they already lived in a region where their religion was a minority. The Brits didn't say they should move to the county where their religion was in majority, in most countries there are religional miniorities and they bother noone.The Brits didn't say they should fight over territory and religion, they chose to do so, it's their fault.

  36. OK but who got teary eyed at 12:00 when kids from two 'enemy' countries started talking to each other, looking at each other with curiosity, and learning this beautiful thing that we're all the fkg same.

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