Independence Day is a rather joyous event for all of us. It is the day that our freedom struggle finally brought us what we wanted. This was the day we took our destiny in our own hands and today, 70 years later, we’re a rapidly growing nation. But today is also the day that marks the 70th anniversary of the Partition, a term which still brings some bitter memories to the people of India.

Like for me, it brings back the memory of my beeji, a woman who was forced to shift from Pakistan to Delhi. For her, the definition of time was basically “Pakistan ban ne se pehle” and to keep in touch with her roots, she made sure she never spoke in any other language but Punjabi. And that’s probably how all refugees, ‘bahar ke log’, come to terms with what was snatched away from them.

Here are some heart-wrenching stories from refugees who came to India during the Partition and the pain they continue to live with:

b’Source:xc2xa0Sruti Lodha talks to Joginder Singh’
b’Source:xc2xa0Fakhra Hassan talks to Sabuha Khan’
b’Source:xc2xa0Fakhra Hassan talks to Taj Begum’
b’Source:xc2xa0Farhana Afroz talks to Baljit Dhillon Vikram Singh’
b’Source:xc2xa0Sruti Lodha talks to Mohinder Kaur’
b’Source:xc2xa0Sruti Lodha talks to Vidya Mitter Thukral’
b’Source:xc2xa0Sruti Lodha talks to Krishna Dubey’
b’Source:xc2xa0Dhwani Vij talks to Harcharan Pahwa’
b’Source:xc2xa0Sruti Lodha talks to Darshan Singh Dham’

Our hearts go out to all those who suffered losses during the Partition.

We’d like to thank The 1947 Partition Archive for letting us borrow their stories.

Design Credits: Saurabh Rathore and Chhabi Parmar