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.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  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 so beautifully put together…
    Really none of us really have hatredness in our hearts but the politicians are poisoning the minds of citizens…
    We're all one, equal and the same… We're all humans…
    Let's not let the religion, race or any negativity divide us…
    Let's stand together, let's stand strong as one… The world is one, God is one so are we humans as a family we're all one…
    My heart really melted watching this…
    It melts for all those who suffered the pain of loss and being divided…
    Love India Love Pakistan…
    From India 🙏🏼

  3. Really loved the coverage and nicely presented. Best part was the schools shown in both countries taking part in communications

  4. Muslims got 2 more countries Pakistan and Bangladesh, but Hindus got secular country. There are 57 Islamic countries but no country for Hindus.

  5. Dear vedio maker, you are just increase hateness and you are showing just one side, come to pakistan and imagine, you will get to result, I am supposed to that you come.

  6. Historical accuracy is in the gutter mate..seriously Vox do some proper research before concluding the brit exit from Indian subcontinent.. world war 2 was financed by their loot, exploits & earnings from India ..

  7. भोसड़ीवाले पहले इंडिया पाकिस्तान को डिवाइड एंड रूल करो फिर उसपर ड्रामाटिक डॉक्यूमेट्री बना के चुतियापा लाइक्स बटोरो पाखंडी मादरचोदों कुटिया के गोरे पिल्ले ब्रिटिशर
    तुम चदरमोड सिर्फ स्पाई बनकर आते हो और देश मे छुपा आतंक मचाते हो

  8. Why was a single lawyer able to draw a line and suddenly create two opposing forces countries?

    He wasn't, there were a lot more factors at play that caused this, otherwise once the British left they would have re-unified.

    I'm not going to find the sources, but pretty sure I watched a video on this a few months ago that the border was created to divide two religious groups that were on the verge of genecide, long before the border existed.

    The border just gave a line in the sand for each religion to divide and face off.

    Think this issue all popped up in the mainstream again because of the Kashmir incidents.

  9. Proper transfer takes 5 years.

    Lord Mountbatton arrives and doesn't like the heat or food, gotta get out of here! Let's take 4 months and fuel the religious divide feud and hand control over to inexperienced locals.

  10. Jo koi baher say ata hai india pakistan ko ek jaisa samjhta hai
    Aisa kahtay hain jaisay ham log bhai log hain
    Cultur wagerq bolnay ka tareeka
    Par apas main yay dono mulk dushman hain
    Pata nahn ham log kab dushmni khatam karein gein
    Bht khobsurat hain dono country

  11. You can see what is modi is trying to do in the region. creating the environment of war which will turn into nuclear war and why he is doing this because he is the member of RSS which is the religion group and their ideology is that india is only belong to hindus that's why he revoke the article 370 from kashmir


  13. Indians have to get rid of modi and the ideology he follows, because im proud to say right now we have a strong leader who wants peace and prosperity but that can only happen when India has a leadership that wants the same….people of both countries generally speaking want to live in peace….

  14. A very good job but when we talk about partition of the subcontinent and not only India because there is no india on that time you have to also see the (Two nation theory) then you can completely understand this division of subcontinent

  15. 📲*00212645752301* *whatapps*📲
    وجـدت💁‍♂️ كـثـيـر مـن الـتـعـالـيـق عـن تـكـبـيـر الــقــضــيــب وضـعـف الانــتــصــاب وسـرعـة الــقــذف
    وأبـغـى أبـشـركـم😉 أنــي حـصـلـت عــلــى مــعــلــومــات مـفـيـدة✅ هــتــنــفــعــكــم كـثـيـر ومــجــربــهــا كـمـان ونـفـعـتـنـي🤩🥳
    تــواصــل مــعــي🙋‍♂️ وأنــا بــشــرح لـك ســر الـوصـفـة الـواتـسـاب *00212645752301*📲

  16. The British also buggered southern Africa. The border between South Africa and Botswana is the epitome of absurdity.

  17. I've never been to India or Pakistan and hardly know any Sikhs but I cried watching this whole video because I know what it's like to be separated from the motherland by some history I did not choose. Sending much love from Indonesia

  18. Now I know how culturally similar Pakisthan is from India. This is first time I saw Pakistan away from Media channels. Truly Pakistan and India could walk hand in hand one day

  19. Same language ?yeah hahaha . Pakistan,s largest ethnicity is punjabi and they speak punjabi and 2nd largest ethnicity is pashtun who speaks pashto and cant utter a proper word in urdu if they havent been to school and colleges where they have been taught urdu and their culture is 100 percent different from indians they are same as afghans so pakistan and india you see are not alike

  20. Britishers never wanted a new Muslim state specially in the subcontinent region we Muslims get our country by our own efforts because if Pakistan was not created by the Muslims of the subcontinent Great jinnah so we Muslims will be the slaves of the hindus after the britishers because hindus are in majority in India 70% and we Muslims are in millions but minority and in the damocratic country only majority has power

  21. It was muslims who were/are intolerant narrow minded in nature had divided the most ancient civilization. Don't blame the British as this much. Infact mighty british were the reason to destroy the most cruel mughol sultanate back in india.

  22. 20% of inadians are Muslim while only 2% of Pakistani are hindus, this is because India didn't force Muslims to leave india.
    ( My grandparents were fore to leave Pakistan)

  23. Only Common point in all these videos is England. England divided and ruled most of the countries and created disturbances among peole. Ofcorz did some development by looting treasure in all countries!!

  24. Two Nation Theory By Muhammad Ali Janah. I love it and I know it from Inside.
    A 70+ Days curfew in Kashmir is a big Live Example. We love our sovereignty.

    We are two totally different Nations. Don't compare us. We are 7 times smaller than our neighbors and Mark these words. They hate our existence we feel it even from the majority of their population. They lynch Minorities in India, We wish the best for Indian Muslims and Christians as well.

    It is Pakistani Leader Imran Khan who volunteered for Kartarpur corridor for Sikhs.

  25. A border that separates people. I hope to live till the day when all those borders that were drawn without the permission of people goes away

  26. hmmm there is a sincere ignorance that this video is based on. Blaming the British is a global sport that this guy seems not immune to it. The reason for the violence of partition is that Muslim majority wanted to live in a Muslim state as people do, but it came at a cost. The issue here is religion, neighbors who share whole generations next to each other can think the other is a heathen if they happen to be born under a different banner. The problem is religion and religious leaders played these differences to divide up a land and claim it for themselves and subsequently … you all know how this goes. As long as human society fall for religious mythologies, they will mistreat their neighbors and fellow society members. Vox, you have to be a little more careful to add context so u can be accurate historically, you missed the violence that plagued India before partition which caused the hasty withdrawal, and the assassination of Gandhi too. There was no good solution only degrees of bad, "don't make Perfect the enemy of Good " Rant over!

  27. Seriously? You put a huge emphasis on the British government creating the border but no mention of who was burning the villages and murdering its people?

  28. I've been a big fan of the British. My favourite actor is British, my favourite tourist destination is the UK, my favourite author is British, my favourite fictional characters are British. But, what they did to us, is inexplicably horrific.

  29. I'm not agree about Indian leader Don't want peace, fact is everytime Pakistan sponsored Terrorist attack in India..
    After that how India will talking about peace with Pakistan? 🤔

  30. India didn't play with faiths and beliefs.
    It was pakistan who always sent terrorists and took so many lives of civilians and soldiers..Pulwama attacks uri attacks and what not.
    Because of that indians wanted a leader who could give the people justice and fight against terrorism. That's what it all came from.
    It's not political fight it's a fight against terrorism and bloodshed!

  31. This masania village is my grandfather's village and this graves are all my grandfather's 😥😥😥😥😥

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