By Inder Singh
I was in the seventh grade when India’s Partition uprooted our family. On August 15, 1947, ours was one of the few Hindu and Sikh families left in our town. The next day, my father, a well-known person in the area, asked the family (my mother and children) to leave for our ancestral village near Amritsar. He stayed behind to safeguard our properties.
We picked up our loads and said goodbye to my father. It is so difficult even for me as a kid.
On the way to India, we saw people being killed left and right by raiders. I saw with my own eyes my cousin being killed. That image still haunts me to this day.
For three days and nights, we didn’t stop anywhere because it was risky and it was raining heavily. Whosoever could not walk or was injured was left behind to be killed by marauders or to die a slow death.
As our family reached the border, a police inspector who knew my father, took us to a border village and gave us a house vacated by Muslims who had fled to Pakistan. After giving us food, he told us that my father has been killed. We were told it happened on August 18. We wailed and cried throughout the night. That night still haunts me.
(California-based Inder Singh is the president of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin)