The BBC is marking the 70th anniversary of the partition of India with a raft of programmes exploring the historical context, the consequences of partition and the cultural impact.
In ‘My Family, Partition And Me: India 1947’, Anita Rani and her mother return to the small village in Pakistan where her grandfather lived until 1947. The story they hear is shocking. The programme contains testimony from survivors of the violence of Partition who experienced those traumatic times. It also follows their children and grandchildren who, like Anita, are finding out about the journeys to survival and new lives far from the homes they had known. The first of two episodes airs on Wednesday from 9-10 pm on BBC 1.
Salman Rushdie’s novel ‘Midnight’s Children’ follows the life of Saleem Sinai, born on the stroke of midnight on 15th August 1947, at the exact moment when India and Pakistan become separate and independent nations. On Tuesday 14 August Radio 4 is broadcasting an interview with the author at 23:30 in ‘Salman Rushdie In Conversation’. Shortly after, at 23:45, the dramatisation of ‘Midnight’s Children’ begins with The Birth Of A Nation. The rest of the dramatisation of the novel can be heard on Tuesday 15th August throughout the day on BBC Radio 4, beginning with The Perforated Street.
A special edition of Newsnight marking the anniversary of Partition airs on Tuesday 15 August 10.30-11.10 pm, and explores the legacy of the event and its effect on people’s lives today.
A BBC news timeline of the British in India and the events leading to Partition is can be found here.