Never let the sacrifice of others be for nothing by doing nothing.
– Author: L.M. Fields
What happened back in India in 1947? The independence that both nations longed for around 90 years, how did it happen? The British Empire just handed power to the newly independent states of Pakistan and India, and the next day people just swapped the territories. Was it so easy, was the freedom without sacrifices, the famed enemies just let go of the grudges in one day? Is that so? Although, we gained independence, but the freedom was not without a cost. Especially the migration, from India to Pakistan was a horrid one. The unheard cries, children sobbing and witnessing the brutal murder of their parents, and all the cruelty and brutality that followed the independence. Their stories give us goose bumps even today. All sacrifices were in the name of Pakistan. Today, the land we call our homeland or motherland is owed greatly to the ones who sacrificed themselves during independence. In this article we pay tribute to all those people, who despite all the odds, fought for freedom and played an equal role in the creation of Pakistan. We bring to you the story of Saeeda Siddiqui, who lived through the independence and made it to Pakistan despite the perilous journey.
A nation which makes the final sacrifice for life and freedom does not get beaten.
– Author: Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
As Saeeda Siddiqui narrates ‘In Karachi my family was greeted with a very warm welcome at the Black Hangar. The entire Haroon, Alvi, and Pasha family were there to receive us. The offered us toast and butter. Afterwards they took us to the transit camp, where they served us Aloo Gosht and naan. When I had eaten two naan, my mother held my hand and said ‘you’ll fall sick,’ because the hunger from the past four, five days couldn’t be satiated from just two naan. I couldn’t control myself and kept eating and eating.’
Saeeda Siddiqui, at 19 (1947), had to control her hunger pangs to travel to Pakistan. The journey, though marked with all sorts of risks and dangers, the end nevertheless, made it bearable.
Another independence day story entails the heartbreaking experience of Haji Muhammad Sharif, who at the age of 16 had to witness the deaths of the migrants after hosting them for few hours. As he narrates ‘The caravans carrying Muslims that would manage to cross Wagah, would make a pit stop near his home in Dogari Kalan, a small border settlement near Lahore. “Me and other young men would volunteer to feed the incoming migrants and the scenes we’d witness in these caravans would haunt us for days on end,” briefly pausing to gather his trail of thoughts. “Once upon a time, there was a convoy coming from Gurgaon district near Delhi.
The people in the van were probably given poisoned water somewhere along their way, when they reached here and we offered them a place to rest, none of them could wake up to see the next dawn.
We had to burry all of them at the local cemetery and to this date, I can still tell which grave belongs to whom.”
These traumatic memories still etched in his mind, those moments still alive in his heart and mind.
Both Saeeda Siddiqui and Haji Muhammad Sharif lived through a dark phase of life for a pleasant era. It’s time for us to turn Pakistan into a heaven, to honor the sacrifices and struggles of our ancestors.
Freedom that is not fought for, that is not gained by personal sacrifice is freedom that will never last, because in the heart of the one set free, it will have little value. A treasure that costs nothing is a treasure that is easily neglected and lost.
– Author: Bryan Davis