Unpartitioned

Quaid-e-Azam M A Jinnah said,

‘Now, I think that we shall keep that in front of us and you will find that in course of time, Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state.”

This has not happened in the political sense and the religion of citizens of this state is still a matter the state tries to regulate heavily. However, such stories of humanity and compassion (copied below) remind us that you can partition a land, but not the human condition!

Dear Omar: I want to share with you and, should you see fit, with others the story of search for my grandfather’s house in Okara, Pakistan.I was born there in late 1944. Like many others we moved to India after partition. For some reason the desire to go back and see the house I was born in remained fixed in my mind.So when the Pakistan Association of Pathologists invited me to address them in Lahore on Nov 28, 2006, I readily accepted (secretly to be able to go to Okara, about 2 hrs away from Lahore).I went to Okara with my hosts in Lahore on Nov 29.

I have been back for a month but still in disbelief and daze.My trip to Okara was not just memorable but more like a fairy tale.To say that it was a dream come true would not be right since I could not even dream of it.We found my grandfather’s house almost unchanged.As the attached picture will show, it still has a paint covered marble plaque with my grandfather’s name above the gate.It reads Dr Uttam Chand 1926 in English and in Urdu. I was welcomed in the house (we just showed up) like a long lost relative and then the most amazing of all things happened inside .Within minutes they brought a marble plaque taken out of one of the side walls during later renovations.The plaque about 18″ by 24″ was my grandfather’s name plate.They had kept it for 60 years and when asked why, the eldest member (70 yrs old) said in Punjabi ( I speak fluent Punjabi) “We thought some day somebody might come looking for it.

Vinay Kumar

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