Major Events Pre-1950

India’s First Independence Day

Dr. Anand - an unholy person born in 1932 in the holy town of Nankana Sahib, central Punjab. A lawyer father, a doctor mother. Peripatetic childhood - almost gypsy style. Many schools. Many friends, ranging from a cobbler's son (poorly shod as the proverb goes) to a judge's son. MB from Glancy (now Government) Medical College Amritsar, 1958. Comet 4 to Heathrow, 1960.
Widower. Two children and their families keep an eye on him. He lives alone in a small house with a small garden. Very fat pigeons, occasional sparrows, finches green and gold drop in to the garden, pick a seed or two and fly away.

I was then fifteen years old. We lived in what was to become Pakistan. Several months before that happened, discretion being the better part of valour, my father, his sister, and his brother rented a bungalow in Solan, Simla Hills. The younger generation reached there separately in the summer - as soon as our, i.e., children's, schools and colleges closed.

Read more: India’s First Independence Day

From Khyber to Kanya Kumari

Kanwarjit Singh Malik was born in Rawalpindi in 1930. His family moved to India at the time of Partition in 1947. He joined the Flying Club in Jalandhar, and was later selected by the Indian Air Force. After the retirement from the Air Force, he served as a senior captain in Air India and Air Lanka. He got married in 1961, and now lives in Mumbai with his wife.

Pre-Partition life

My family had lived in Rawalpindi since the time of my great-grandfather, Malik Khazan Singh, who passed away in 1899 after amassing a large amount of property.

Read more: From Khyber to Kanya Kumari

Memories of Lahore: Summer 1947

Dr. Anand - an unholy person born in 1932 in the holy town of Nankana Sahib, central Punjab. A lawyer father, a doctor mother. Peripatetic childhood - almost gypsy style. Many schools. Many friends, ranging from a cobbler's son (poorly shod as the proverb goes) to a judge's son. MB From Glancy (now Government) Medical College Amritsar, 1958. Comet 4 to Heathrow, 1960.

Long retired. Widower. A son and a daughter, their spouses, five grandchildren, two hens (impartially, one black, one white) keeping an eye on me as I stand still and the world goes by.

 

In 1947, I was a student at DAV College, Lahore. It stood fairly close to the Zamzama Gun, an artillery piece cast before Maharaja Ranjit Singh created the Khalsa Empire. An empire, which, despite the word Khalsa, was as non-communal as any. In fact, Ranjit Singh's youngest or junior most Maharani was a Muslim.

Read more: Memories of Lahore: Summer 1947

Living through the 1947 Partition of Bengal -1

Tapas Sen was born in Kolkata (1934), and brought up in what now constitutes Bangladesh. He migrated to India in 1948, and joined the National Defence Academy in January 1950. He was commissioned as a fighter pilot into the Indian Air Force on 1 April 1953, from where he retired in 1986 in the rank of an Air Commodore. He now leads an active life, travelling widely and writing occasionally.

 

Editor's note: This article originally appeared on Air Commodore Sen's blog TKS' Tales. It is reproduced here with the author's permission. This is Part 1. Part 2 is available here.

My family

India saw tremendous political ferment in the in the late 1910s. The disappointment over the Montague-Chelmsford reforms of 1918 resulting in the diarchic Government of India Act of 1919 was converted to horror and anger by the passage of the Rowlatt Act, and the massacre at Jalianwalla Bagh on 13 April 1919.

Read more: Living through the 1947 Partition of Bengal -1

Living through the 1947 Partition of Bengal -2

Tapas Sen was born in Kolkata (1934), and brought up in what now constitutes Bangladesh. He migrated to India in 1948, and joined the National Defence Academy in January 1950. He was commissioned as a fighter pilot into the Indian Air Force on 1 April 1953, from where he retired in 1986 in the rank of an Air Commodore. He now leads an active life, travelling widely and writing occasionally.

Editor's note: This article originally appeared on Air Commodore Sen's blog TKS' Tales. It is reproduced here with the author's permission. This is Part 2. Please read Part 1 first.

September 1947 - changes in the environment

As the days went by there were subtle changes in the environment that could be felt, though not fully defined. One was an erosion of identity. Slowly, all the Hindu government servants were transferred out. Most of them went off to ‘India'! The officers in the administration, judiciary and police became new faces, and most of them were not even Bengali speaking.

Read more: Living through the 1947 Partition of Bengal -2