Major Events Pre-1950
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.