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 Replies to “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. Hindu population in Pakistan after partition in 1947 was 15% & now in 2019 is 1%
    Muslim population in India in 1947 was 7% & now in 2019 is 12%

  3. Thank you so much, sir, for this greatly informative video. It's just incredible! Respectable endeavour. Looking forward for more stories from you. With love, from India.

  4. At the end, the whole world convinced that Pakistan support terrorism yet some countries like China don't express it explicitly… Poor common innocent citizens, I feel pity.

  5. well its wrong to say that both countries leader spread poison Pakistan current leader Imran khan always said that we want peace and trade with India but modi always gives hate to Pakistan.

  6. Sale modi ko badman krta hai
    Bhsdk thik i to bola ha unhne tum terrorist sent Kate go to ham Kia kre but sab jhamela British logo kids bje se hua ha

  7. Just love and respect you bro for your awesome effort, work and presentation to uncover the Truth !!! Hats off All the best rewards from Almighty!!!!

  8. You are right, Amritsar should be in Pakistan.. anyway Pakistan is generous enough to allow Sikh brothers to visit kartarpur whenever they want..

  9. You know what is the problem with you guys you can't see a third world country uprising because you think only white people are great and you guys always lead an anti hindi campaign.

  10. If y’all think for one moment that border was drawn hastily by a European you are wrong they want these regions to be destabilize

  11. My Great Grandfather's came to India from now called Pakistan(Lahore) being hindus.
    They had to leave a whole lot of land and properties to the state and come to live in Delhi( India's Capital) start with nothing and now I aim to build a peaceful borderless environment within the Nations hollowing from within the destructive sense of nationalism build by the greedy politician. I start from India extend love to pakistan and invite peace to the whole world . We live together as humans whether Indian Pakistani White Coloured Hindu Muslim American European African Chinese .
    We are all ONE.

  12. 1:04 The map doesn't show international border. What you are showing is a treatment of LOC as international border. That's inaccurate both historically and politically.

  13. As an Indian let me tell every pakistani that I love you guys as we are very similar in every aspect of our lives. If on both sides we forever SHUT OF THE MEDIA CHANNELS all hatred will be forever gone.

  14. You oversimplified it brother, not everything that looks similar is same! You forget that Pakistan is an 'Islamic' state and based on Islamic ideology, there's has been drastic decline in minorities especially Hindus in Pakistan, whatever are left are being persequeted, Get out of this myopic view of so called 'liberal ideas' and Modi hatred. Study more and go deep. Very very disappointed with Vox. Nothing's good except cinematography.

  15. This border is very important for us Muslims considering the oppression and hatred that is in the hearts of Hindus for us but this is sad for the sikhs.

  16. It's good. But lack in-depth historical or present political insights. And very smartly showcased great Britain as peace loving country though they were monstrous ruler for undivided India. The India and Pakistan earned their independence after struggle for independence against dictatorrship of Britain. And also you present present Indian and Pakistani and their leaders in bad light. Though it's not similar in last span of 70 years.
    It's an immature documentary and with ilinformation

  17. While India is keeping the soul of secularism alive, Pakistan is like "Hey there is a non Muslim let's convert him into Muslim. It's gonna be fun".

  18. "barely anyone crosses over it". Tons of terrorists cross from Pakistan and over to India all the time. We need a bigger n better wall. If only our economy would allow it.

  19. Just search on google "durrani empire" and look at the map of this empire
    Pakistan was already carved out from india
    People are blaming on those British.. wasn't their fault.. it was just like this
    God's plans you know

  20. people's are both side of good but….
    what about 9/11, 26/11, parliament attack, pathankot, puncha, Pulwama etc…
    tell me who's country where osama stayed while killed..

  21. It's all happened because of british
    If any politician from India,Pakistan, Bangladesh seeing my comment
    Why can't we ( Pakistan , India , Bangladesh) can unit or make an organization like European union , we can become free , we can travel free , we can share and can become family..
    Can we be United and show to the Britain that they have done the wrong thing …🧐🤔😇

  22. British created lasting chaos in India/Pakistan and Israel/Palestine, now they are getting their own chaos. Consequential effects!

  23. India was decided for islamisation n radicalization by Congress n ghandhi. They are the evils . Hindusthan will never treat a Muslim as patron of India 🇮🇳 because these Muslims are I favor of Pakistan. India became India and Pakistan on the basis of religion. But some Muslims stayed and their population grown but Hindus in Pakistan were killed converted to Islam and now only 2% Hindus are there in Pakistan and 20%muslims in India. If we exchange these people then there will be harmony and peace in India 🙏.

  24. Why u r showing modi as evil. U should learn more . Sikh riots terrorism radicalization islamisation conversion. Why u left all these. We Hindusthan Hindus n Sikhs tolerated so many things but not now in 21st century

  25. British thought they harmed and weakened India by using partition and thus decreased India's chances of arising as a power but they didn't know Allah is best of planners he planned to make a Muslim nation who will ultimately challenge British as well as European hegemony.. Proud to be a Muslim everything which happened was in our interest as Allah is best of planners and everyone will believe when more of divine plan is revealed and more secrets come out in future with Islamic invasion of Europe..

  26. Indians are such a nice people. you can see and notice their comments by their semi broken english and the way they type and its all love

  27. borders should go to ethiopia next – very few u.s. journalists study/make content on the country, but it's fascinating. also, if i'm not mistaken there may be changes to the ethiopian border with eritrea b/c of abiy ahmed and others

  28. So these baizuo propagandists are against this border as if Indians and Pakistanis (or Hindus and Muslims) are so united, yet wish for their colonial border in Hong Kong to be forever as they only support separatists and ignore the rest of the Chinese they hate.

  29. The most noble place Sikhs is in Pakistan.. Yes the birth place anf resting place of BABA GURU NANANK SB in Pakistan.. Golden temple may be second place… What ever u say…Sikhs were fooled by nehru and new ssikh converter Master tara singh. Only punjabi people suffered and were divided. Punjab will get reunited soon. Khalistan will become free sikh state.

  30. Kashmir is disputed areas… Should be resolved according to United nation resolutions which give kashmir rights to decide about their future.

  31. Islamic nation and Hindu majority but secular india……..so that one more pakistan can be carved out form india in nex 100 years🤣🤣🤣

  32. Tension more appropriate to say genocide now in Indian occupied kashmir is the answer to this great sacrifice of leaving our land and worth behind and also dare to mention when our side (Pakistan) leaders brings up the fire?

  33. افهم شوي شوي بالانجليزي وتوصلني المشاعر الانسانيه عبر اي لغه ووالله عيوني دمعت على وانا مش فاهم زي الناس😢

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