HT Image
HT Image

'Sorry' for crimes during Partition

An online signature campaign seeking an 'apology for the heinous crimes' of 1947, when India was partitioned, is receiving a tremendous response from people across borders.
By Sarwar Kashani | IANS, New Delhi
UPDATED ON AUG 10, 2007 02:17 PM IST

An online signature campaign seeking an "apology for the heinous crimes" of 1947, when the Indian subcontinent was partitioned, is receiving a tremendous response from people across borders.

The Association for Communal Harmony In Asia (ACHA), formed in the US in 1993, has initiated the campaign to empathise with and apologise to the victims and survivors of the 1947 Hindu-Muslim riots.

Its petition, launched on Aug 1, has been signed by hundreds of netizens and will be wrapped up at the end of this year. ACHA has as its members Indians, Pakistanis as well as Bangladeshis.

India, after it gained freedom from centuries-old British rule, was divided into two countries on the basis of religious affinities and Pakistan, a federation Muslim majority states, was born. Pakistan was later partitioned to form Bangladesh.

In the frenzy of communal violence, the petition says, around 15 million people were forced to leave their homes. Millions lost their lives. The horrific memories of mass murder, rape, pillage and suffering are unforgettable for the victims.

Sixty years since then, the wounds still ache and people have not been able to live with the rigors of the forced migration. What makes the healing more difficult is that the victims and perpetrators of the crimes were the same.

"The Partition in 1947 was perhaps the darkest period in the history of the region (sub-continent)," says Pritam K Rohila, executive director of ACHA.

Rohila, who was an eyewitness to the atrocities of the partition, feels that reconciliation begins when somebody accepts responsibility for the crime and "no one has so far accepted responsibility for these heinous crimes of 1947".

"We the members of ACHA are inviting people in India and Pakistan to join us in the long-delayed effort by signing our petition of apology to the victims and their families at www.indiapakistanpeace.org," Rohila, who is based in Poland, told IANS on e-mail.

The association, which also includes Pervez Hoodbhoy, a known nuclear physicist and peace activist from Pakistan, and Haroon Habib, a journalist from Bangladesh, focuses on pursuing the agenda of peace between India and Pakistan, rather than "wasting them in condemning anyone and inadvertently publicising the work of hate-mongers", said Rohila.

The association has since 2004 been conducting a campaign to encourage people to organise India-Pakistan Peace Day everywhere between Pakistan's Independence Day Aug 14 and the UN Peace Day Sep 21. The petition of apology is one of the two core elements of the peace day campaign.

It wants signatories to read aloud an "affirmative statement of peace and harmony" every day from Aug 14 through Sept 21.

The statement apologetically says:

"We the members of the Association for Communal Harmony in Asia who have signed believe that the time has come for all of us together to condemn, without distinction, the insane orgy of violence and intimidation that marred the great human divide of 1947.

"We undertake to shun the political use of religion and communalism.

"On the 60th anniversary of our Independence Days, we remember that dark chapter in our history so as to ensure that these tragedies will be neither forgotten nor repeated.

"We regret that our forebears, the colonial British administration and the successor governments failed to prevent the tragedy, punish the perpetrators and/or apologise to you and your families," the petition reads.

"In the spirit of harmony and goodwill among the people of South Asia, and to help build a new South Asian present and future, we grieve together for you. We offer our deepest sympathies and most solemn regrets to you and your families.

"We are sorry!"

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Jaishankar's visit to Bangladesh follows on the PM-level Virtual Summit in December last year and will also provide an opportunity to take stock of the progress in bilateral relations, the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Jaishankar's visit to Bangladesh follows on the PM-level Virtual Summit in December last year and will also provide an opportunity to take stock of the progress in bilateral relations, the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Neighbourhood First : Jaishankar to boost bilateral relations with Bangladesh

PTI, Dhaka
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 05:50 PM IST
Momen and Jaishankar led their respective sides at a bilateral meeting held at a state guesthouse and took stock of the progress of relations between the two countries.
Close
Lal Chowk in the heart of Srinagar. The decision to retrieve all land dealing under the Roshni Act was taken three weeks after the high court declared it unconstitutional and unsustainable.(PTI file photo)
Lal Chowk in the heart of Srinagar. The decision to retrieve all land dealing under the Roshni Act was taken three weeks after the high court declared it unconstitutional and unsustainable.(PTI file photo)

Ease of Living Index 2020: Srinagar at bottom of list of 49 cities

By Mir Ehsan
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 05:48 PM IST
  • While Bangalore has been ranked top among 49 cities with population of more than a million, Bareilly, Dhanbad and Srinagar are ranked as the bottom three.
Close
CPI leader Sitaram Yechury addresses media on the occasion of fifty years celebration of the party's newspaper 'Ganashakti' in Kolkata on Sunday. (ANI Photo)
CPI leader Sitaram Yechury addresses media on the occasion of fifty years celebration of the party's newspaper 'Ganashakti' in Kolkata on Sunday. (ANI Photo)

CPI(M) to seek rescheduling of parliament budget session due to assembly polls

PTI, Coimbatore
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 05:38 PM IST
Since majority of the states such as Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala and Assam have more opposition MPs, they may find it difficult to campaign in these states, where polls are scheduled to held from March 27 to April 6.
Close
Security personnel check for bombs in the premises of the historic Taj Mahal, in Agra, Thursday, March 4, 2021. (PTI Photo )
Security personnel check for bombs in the premises of the historic Taj Mahal, in Agra, Thursday, March 4, 2021. (PTI Photo )

Man detained for Taj Mahal hoax bomb call, seems mentally unstable: Police

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 05:55 PM IST
After the threat call to 112 emergency response number of the Uttar Pradesh police at around 9am, nearly 1000 tourists were evacuated from the Taj Mahal.
Close
Senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily.(HT file photo)
Senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily.(HT file photo)

News updates from HT: Congress says TN seat sharing talks 'not yet a stalemate'

PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 05:00 PM IST
Here are today’s top news, analysis and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.
Close
"The Ministry and industry will partner together to make the OTT experience better for all audience,” Javadekar wrote on Twitter.(PTI file photo)
"The Ministry and industry will partner together to make the OTT experience better for all audience,” Javadekar wrote on Twitter.(PTI file photo)

All OTT industry representatives welcome new guidelines issued, says Javadekar

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Harshit Sabarwal, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 04:59 PM IST
The information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry issued the guidelines last week to monitor content on social media and OTT platforms—under which they would be required to remove any content flagged by authorities within 36 hours and further set up a grievance redressal mechanism.
Close
Image Credit: ANI
Image Credit: ANI

Meerut firing: Police identify 1 accused; girl, hit by gunshot, stable

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Karan Manral, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 04:54 PM IST
A group of persons had opened fire in Meerut’s Brahmpuri area on Wednesday evening. The injured girl was passing by when she got hit.
Close
Indian Railways(HT File)
Indian Railways(HT File)

Content on Demand service in trains to be launched this month: Official

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 04:40 PM IST
  • To ensure buffer-free services, media servers will be placed inside coaches, RailTel CMD Puneet Chawla said in a press briefing.
Close
Kerala finance minister Thomas Isaac the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) met all norms to raise funds outside the country.(Mint)
Kerala finance minister Thomas Isaac the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) met all norms to raise funds outside the country.(Mint)

Defiant Kerala govt says KIIFB officials won’t appear for questioning by ED

PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 04:35 PM IST
  • Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said the timing of the ED’s notice was deliberate since the masala bonds were floated two years ago.
Close
Externa Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar(MINT)
Externa Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar(MINT)

In Dhaka, Jaishankar stresses India's help during coronavirus pandemic

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 04:18 PM IST
Jaishankar is in Bangladesh to prep for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the neighbouring country later this month.
Close
“Everyone should unite and work together for upcoming polls," CM Palaniswami said.(ANI)
“Everyone should unite and work together for upcoming polls," CM Palaniswami said.(ANI)

Tamil Nadu CM K Palaniswami calls for party workers to work towards AIADMk govt

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Srivatsan K C, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 04:06 PM IST
"We should make sure the AIADMK comes back to power. Even after 10 years, people of Tamil Nadu are with the AIADMK,” the chief minister said.
Close
Road safety has been given top priority in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and proposes stiff penalties for traffic offences.(HT PHOTO)
Road safety has been given top priority in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and proposes stiff penalties for traffic offences.(HT PHOTO)

National Safety Day 2021: 'Sadak Suraksha' theme to be observed this year

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Mallika Soni
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 03:53 PM IST
  • This year, the focus of National Safety Day is on road safety and the theme is ‘Sadak Suraksha’ (road safety).
Close
IAF Tejas fly past during the inauguration of the 13th edition of Aero India, at Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru this February. (File photo)
IAF Tejas fly past during the inauguration of the 13th edition of Aero India, at Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru this February. (File photo)

India’s defence budget for domestic buys to fund fighters, tanks, missiles

PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 03:31 PM IST
India has set aside 70,221 crore -- 63% of the military’s capital budget -- for buying locally-produced weapons and systems to boost defence indigenisation
Close
The United Christian Forum for Human Rights has also appealed for rescheduling the poll.(PTI Photo/File)
The United Christian Forum for Human Rights has also appealed for rescheduling the poll.(PTI Photo/File)

Tripura Christians seek change in TTAADC poll date as it clashes with Easter day

By Priyanka Deb Barman | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Agartala
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 03:22 PM IST
  • The TTAADC has 30 seats, of which 28 are elected and two are nominated.
Close
Maharashtra deputy CM Ajit Pawar (HT File Photo)
Maharashtra deputy CM Ajit Pawar (HT File Photo)

Ajit Pawar removes doctor who allegedly tried to molest patient

ANI
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 03:20 PM IST
Maharashtra deputy CM Ajit Pawar said action was taken after a preliminary probe into the incident. The doctor allegedly tried to molest the patient at a Covid-19 care centre in Aurangabad.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP