After completing her successful play ‘Bend it like Beckham The Musical’ in London this year, Gurinder Chadha is now putting final touches to her forthcoming film based on the Partition titled ��Viceroy�۪s House�۪.�� She has personal experience from force immigration and the Partition when it took place.
She answered some questions via email to Times of India, on the eve of the 69th Independence Day.��She gave her views on how she looks at the role of the British whilst leaving India, “I hope to explain to those of us who always believed some English skulduggery was at play (at the time of the Partition) that it was indeed the case,””I hope to explain to those of us who always believed some English skulduggery was at play (at the time of the Partition) that it was indeed the case, “I hope to explain to those of us who always believed some English skullduggery was at play (at the time of the Partition) that it was indeed the case,” she says.
She continued to speak about the impact on her family of the “large forced migration in the history of the world”, where she gave insight, “Both my maternal and paternal families are from pre-partitioned India, Jhelum and Rawalpindi.�� They lost everything and I do not really have an ancestral homeland ��_ The Punjabi I speak is more akin to what Pakistanis speak today having learnt it as I did from my grandmother and mother”.
Chadha researched books and one of them actually showed confirmation of a secret strategy for the protection of the British in Asia that led to the Partition.��She has set the film in Delhi and managed to bring Nehru, Jinnah and Gandhi along with 500 ordinary Hindu, Sikh and Muslims under one roof of the Mountbattens.��She is now motivating others to help record the historical events and Chadha is working with other volunteers to make sure something is done with the knowledge found.
“It’s a vital global effort to record our Partition history while we still have time to hear from those who witnessed those appalling months of human bloodshed and ignominy. I applaud The 1947 Archive for reaching out to all South Asian to tell their stories regardless of where they came from or fled to. I urge everyone who knows someone who was there 70 years ago, to please record their memories so we can learn the horrors of communalism and political manoeuvres to divide us and rule us,” she spoke about the 1947 Archive initiative.
By Rishi Kapoor