By: Ilayda Celik-Reese, Le Monde
Lines are the most basic tool for designing anything in our world, from architecture to art to maps. Without lines our lives would lack form, shape, and dimension, however, some lines divide us. Some lines are drawn in conflict, instead of art, such is the case with the partition line between India and Pakistan. The hastily drawn line is the legacy Britain has left for their former subjects, a legacy that has lead to over half a million deaths and twelve million refugees.
This conflict is one of the first and largest cases of “mutual genocide” to occur in modern history. The entire Indian subcontinent has become a battlefield of sikhs and hindus against Muslims. Although, a great migration of Muslims occurred directly after the creation of the partition, there are still millions of Muslims antagonized in India, particularly in the region of Kashmir.
In an interview with the Pakistani minister of foreign affairs, the minister stated, “the name of our great nation, Pakistan, is created from an acronym, in which the “k” stands for Kashmir. Currently, our Muslim brothers and sisters are suffering persecution in their homeland, when they should be protected as our people within our nation.” Many Pakistani citizens have expressed similar sentiments, and feel that this conflict is the result of British intervention.
Cyril Radcliffe, a man that had no cultural knowledge of the subcontinent, finished three months earlier than the time he was allotted to draw the partition line. Some speculate that had he been more thorough in his work, Radcliffe might have prevented this conflict.