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You are in: London > London Local > Waltham Forest > Community Life > British Asians and the Partition


British Asians and the Partition

A writer from Walthamstow says Asian segregation in Britain is deeply rooted in the Partition of India.

East Londoner Mazhar Tirmazi has written a play called “A Lifetime on Tiptoes.”  A piece inspired by the painful tales he heard from his mother about being forced out of her home. 

Mahzar travelled back to East Panjab where she lived sixty years ago. It was in the ruins of her home that Mahzar discovered the anguish of his family and the millions that suffered like her.

“I tried to capture the soul of my mother in this play", he said.

It’s estimated that the political division produced 13 million refugees and killed 3 million people.

"India's holocaust"

Mazhar Tirmazi

The play's director Dominic Rai said it’s important for all Panjabis to acknowledge what happened and for today’s generation to be aware of the ethnic cleansing that took place.

“Many people have been effected by the partition not because they were there at the time but like the holocaust for the Jews, the subsequent generations have been effected as well, so we’ve got a polarisation of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs," he said.

Leaving their homes behind

Leaving their homes behind

"This play is saying that as Panjabis we have a shared identity and that’s what we want to celebrate.”

The launch took place at the House of Commons, ironically, exactly where the decision to separate the country was first made.

The Man Mela theatre company will be showing the play across the country for the Sixtieth Anniversary next year. 

last updated: 20/12/2007 at 18:18
created: 24/11/2006

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