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The Partition of India and Migration

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The Partition of the Indian subcontinent 70 years ago along religious lines, saw the largest migration in human history, outside war and famine. Millions were on the move in both directions. Muslims fled to Pakistan, Hindus and Sikhs to India, as communal hatred erupted and people feared being a minority in a new country. Many thousands of those who lived through this violent birth of two new nations migrated to post-war Britain. But many are only just talking of their experiences seven decades on. In this lecture Kavita Puri reflects on why silence was kept in Britain among that generation and why people are speaking of this traumatic time now. She discusses how even though many fled homes 70 years ago the loss endures, and so too does a connection to the homeland that was left. It is a complex legacy that lives on in the second and third generations living in Britain today.


Kavita Puri is an award-winning broadcaster and executive producer. She presented the critically acclaimed Radio 4 series Three Pounds in My Pocket about post-war South Asian migration to Britain. For the 70th anniversary of the independence of India and Pakistan she presented the landmark Radio 4 series Partition Voices which she is currently writing a book about. Kavita is also the Editor of the BBC foreign affairs programme Our World where she has executive produced documentaries as Starving Yemen, The Killing of Farkhunda, and Freedom and Fear in Myanmar. She was previously at Newsnight.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Lecture Series series.

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