Punjab-origin journalist discovers family's fate during Partition

  • Indo-Asian News Service, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Sep 13, 2015 22:04 IST
Anita Rani

Well-known Punjabi-origin and half-Sikh English journalist and television host Anita Rani was reduced to tears during a BBC programme after discovering her family's fate in the violence that consumed India after the subcontinent's partition at the end of the British rule in 1947, a media report has said.

The "Strictly Come Dancing" star came to know that her grandfather had lost his first wife and a daughter in the post-Partition conflict during BBC-1's "Who Do You Think You Are?", a TV series in which celebrities trace their ancestry, discovering secrets and surprises from their past, Daily Mail online reported on Sunday. In the programme, Rani broke down after she learnt that Pritam Kaur, wife of her grandfather, Sant Singh, died after falling to the bottom of a well. Sant Singh, a soldier in the British-Indian army then, was powerless to defend his family, as he was stationed thousands of kilometres away.

Rani was even more shocked to learn that Pritam Kaur and Sant Singh had a daughter aged 7 who also had died in the bloodshed. "Nobody in my family talks about the daughter. Nobody knows this. I don't know what I am going to do but this has changed me," she was quoted as saying on the show. Rani, who has a broadcasting degree from the University of Leeds, was born in Bradford to a Sikh mother and Hindu father, and began her career at 14 on the city's Sunrise Radio.

She has worked as a presenter on Channel Five, Sky Sports, Channel Four, BBC 2, BBC 3, and BBC Asian Network.

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