Elders recall Partition through play

Blast from the past

It was an emotional experience for hundreds of senior citizens as they witnessed a musical play on the Partition of India and recalled tales of joy, sorrow, desperation and separation entrenched in their memories.

Organised by Delhi Police to pay tribute to the senior citizens who lived through the Partition in 1947, the play, “Jisne Lahore nai dekhya O jamiya nahi” was staged at the Lotus Temple auditorium on Tuesday evening.

For 90-year-old Bhupinder Singh, it was an overwhelming experience as he remembered how almost 65 years ago all his friends had disappeared overnight. “I was 25 back then, and majority of my friends were Muslims. We were playing gilli danda (a traditional game) one evening and next day they were all gone to a place called Pakistan and would never return,” said a misty-eyed Singh. “I lost all my friends overnight with whom I had shared my whole life,” added the resident of south Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar.

Agreed Salma Parveen, who was a teenager in 1947 and witnessed not only her country’s partition but her family’s partition too. “My father decided to stay back in India but the rest of my relatives decided to go to Pakistan. I lost all my cousins in an instant and it took years to fill that vacuum,” said Parveen, a resident of Delhi’s old quarters.

“It was a terrible loss for the people of this country and both the nations as well. Partition should never have taken place,” she added. The senior citizens assembled at the Lotus Temple were ecstatic with the initiative and urged Delhi Police to organise many more such events in the future.

“I compliment Delhi Police for organising such a programme which helped us to gather and interact with one another,” said K M Dhodi, a retired Indian Army general. Delhi Police were more than happy to agree. “More of such programmes will take place in future which are vital for spreading communal harmony,” said additional commissioner of police (south) Ajay Chaudhry.

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