opinion
I'm calling for a UK Partition Commemoration Day and its history to be taught in schools
By: Guest Contributor
Published: 24th June 2018

Binita Kane

I’m delighted to announce that, due to the huge public reaction to the BBC's My Family, Partition and Me, with the support of Virendra Sharma MP, I will be hosting event in Parliament on 18th July to call for a formal Partition Commemoration day and for this history to be taught in schools.

The Partition of India was the largest mass migration of humans in history, resulting in the loss of up to 2 million lives and is an important part of British history.

Yet there has been a wall of silence for 70yrs and little public awareness that this ever happened. Thousands of South Asian immigrants came to the UK as a result of Partition (like my father) and have done wonderful things for this country.

But the wounds of Partition still feed hatred & division that is passed down the generations.

My perception was that Hindus and Muslims had always been warring, but on my journey I heard 1st hand about a time before #Partition when they lived in harmony together.

In fact it was a Muslim family that risked their own lives to help my Hindu family escape genocide.

Many second generation British Asians have no idea what their parents and grandparents went through or why their families settled in Britain. Many white Caucasian Brits don’t understand the history of the Empire and it’s role in modern day multicultural Britain.

I went through the British schooling system and learnt nothing on this topic and quite frankly, I don’t want the same for my children. History lessons should teach the good, the bad and the ugly and offer the chance to learn from the past.

The event will bring together; Partition survivors, academics, curators, the media, faith leaders, young people and politicians, to call for August 17th to be made a formal Partition Commemoration Day and for the history to be taught on the school curriculum.

This would never have been possible without the amazing Anita Rani and Leo Burley. Anita will be speaking at the event about her personal journey, what drove her to make #myfamilypartitionandme and the incredible response to the programme.

We also have support from the fantastic Babita Sharma who went on her own journey on Dangerous Borders, a brilliant programme that exposed the deep rifts left by Partition, and the inspiring Kishwar Desai who founded Partition Museum in Amritsar, the world’s first and only such museum.

We are hoping to create a legacy project around this after the event.

If you want to be involved please email partitioncommemoration@gmail.com.

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From a thread by Binita Kane on Twitter.


Opinion published on 24th June 2018 in the Culture section




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