How this border transformed a subcontinent | India & Pakistan

This is the Golden Temple. People come here from all over the world to
bathe in its waters, to look at the Holy Book that
is inside of this middle Golden Temple and to just experience the holiness of
this place. This place is the epicenter of Sikhism. It sits right here in
northern India in a city called Amritsar. Close by there’s another important Sikh site
called Kartarpur. It was established by the founder of Sikhism
more than 500 years ago. It’s the place where he spent the last years
of his life and it is the second holiest place in Sikhism. For centuries, Sikhs have been able to make pilgrimage between these two sites to move freely throughout their heartland. But in 1947 a British lawyer drew a border here turning what had been British India into
two new countries, India and Pakistan. I could only call it one of the most bizarre
lines, which were ever drawn across a map It went right here with the Golden Temple
on one side and Katarpur on the other. Thanks to this border Sikhs in India are now
cut off from their holy site. So many come here to a platform that the Border
Patrol set up. The platform looks across the border
where with the help of telescopes, Sikhs can look at their holy place just three
or four kilometers away. In addition to cutting off communities from
their sacred sites, this border separated families, cut across
rivers, forests, farms, railroad tracks. Today this border is heavily fortified with
nearly all 3,000, plus kilometers fenced. It’s lit so well that you can see it from space and barely anything or anyone crosses over it When we talk about the drawing of the line, what was the most painful was the division
of families which took place and that is a very big reality. This is the story of a violent
separation. One of the most traumatic events of the 20th century It’s the story of how a hastily drawn line
on a map separated one people into two. This is a horror story. What we saw was a town soaked with the stench of death. In the train of murder and arson, come the
refugees. Their suffering is the new tragedy of India. Many will never reach their new land. These are the things that are setting the
heart burning on either side of the line. The sun is setting and I’m walking along one
of the oldest roads in Asia One that used to connect this region but today
a border runs through it and instead of connection and trade what you
see here is this: There’s barbed wire, there’s fences, there
are officers everywhere and yet, there’s also ice-cream and popcorn
and paraphernalia. This feels like a sporting event. You can buy keychains of machine guns. Thousands of spectators file in, filling this stadium
that looks down on the border. On the other side Pakistanis are doing the
same. Then, both sides start their different show. Two hours of chanting and dancing Then the finale, a face-off between the
two sides. They strut back and forth in this coordinated
choreography and it all ends with the lowering of
each flag and the closing of this gate. This bizarre border show plays out every
evening. But this ceremony, this fence, this intense
nationalism If you rewind just a little in time, none
of this existed. The British controlled parts of
India for nearly 200 years but by 1947, a strong movement of independence
was swelling across the subcontinent while back in Britain, the country was in
massive debt after fighting World War II and didn’t have the resources to
hold on to their colony so they started making plans to leave India. British officials thought that a proper transfer
of power would probably take around five years but when the British leader in charge arrived
in early 1947, he hastily decided to shrink their exit timeline and so what needed five years would now
need to be done in just four months. British India was to be split into two
independent nations, a mostly Muslim Pakistan and a Hindu majority,
but officially secular India. To do the actual drawing of the border, the
British brought in a lawyer from London. He arrived the month before the British
were supposed to leave India. He hadn’t been to British India before and
didn’t know much about the region. He had no idea about India, no idea about
Indian geography, no idea about Indian politics. And yet, he was the one drawing the lines
on the map that would affect millions of lives. During his visit, this British
lawyer looked at maps and census data, focusing on the maps that showed
religious identity of people in India. India has a wide variety of religions
and based on these census maps, you can see that people of all religions lived
amongst each other all over the region. So to draw the line the British lawyer
looked at individual districts putting any district that had a Muslim majority
population into the new country of Pakistan, while Hindu and Sikh majority
districts would be kept within India. Based on this method the lawyer began to
see what a border might look like. He only had five weeks to do this. He later wrote that it would have taken years
to settle on a proper boundary and that’s because this method
of drawing the line conceals that within these districts there were
sizable communities of all religions that had been living side-by-side
for centuries all throughout India. August 15 1947, Independence Day for India
and Pakistan The British lawyer left that day. He would never return to India again. Two days after independence the borders were
made public, prompting more than 14 million people to leave
their homes, their lives for what was now their side of the border. We were told that you have to cross the border
to India. Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan moved into
India and many Muslims in India moved into the new
Pakistan. These were people who were indeed forced to lose their entire homes, their memories, their childhood and the things they saw. It was one of the largest
forced migrations of people ever and it was chaos, a chaos that led to widespread
unspeakable violence cities on fire, sexual violence against women,
trains, full of dead bodies. The survivors I talked to were just
children when all of this happened. The division of the sub-continent became
known as the partition of India. A phrase synonymous with trauma fueled by the reckless mismanagement of an imperial
power. I’m in a small village right near the border on the Indian side that used to be a Muslim community before
partition. And in the middle of town is this shrine where residents would conduct ornate Muslim
burial practices on these graves. Look at the original maps at the British drew
up when they were trying to draw this line. This town was actually in Pakistan in most
of the maps. But in the end the British lawyer
decided to draw the line here. The people here discovered that they
were now a part of the new country of India and so many of them fled just across the border
to the new state of Pakistan and they left this place empty. But just as Muslims were leaving this
village for the new Pakistan, Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan were coming
across into India and some ended up here. The Hindus and Sikhs that now live in
this community have taken it upon themselves to continue the Muslim traditions
that this community was based off of. They continue to maintain these graves and
these symbols even though they don’t necessarily pertain
to their own religion. This is a sign of respect, of common
identity in spite of the border. But this is just one side of the story. The sub-continent echoes and shudders to
the sounds of a full-scale undeclared war. Within just a few months of drawing this border, India and Pakistan were fighting an all-out
war. One that centered on this region in the north,
which both sides claimed as their own. The new countries would fight several
more wars over the years, a border fence would eventually fortify
the majority of this boundary, and both countries would acquire nuclear weapons turning up the tensions and deepening
the division. But if you take away the geopolitical bluster,
the nukes, the barrier, the trauma of partition, you can still see how much these two countries
have in common. I’m at a school in Delhi. Students are skyping with a school in Pakistan. These kids are speaking a similar
language and it takes them just minutes to dive into the common roots of their
culture. This shared identity with these kids are
feeling isn’t uncommon in India and Pakistan. Same language, same taste, same food Hindus and Muslims and Sikhs used to live
together, attend each other’s social
functions, marriages, everything. We have this divide now. If you stand in the wall
city in Amritsar and you stand in the walled city in Lahore believe me, the smells, which is a kind
of giveaway are the same. I’m visiting a group of Sikhs coming off
the train. They were able to get a visa to go visit this
religious site that most have to see through a telescope. So with all these cultural similarities, all
these happy faces, shared interests? How do you explain this? You see, it is a politician, who poisons
people’s minds. The divide is created, nurtured, fostered
because it suits a certain politics. Over the years, politicians on both sides have
exploited tension with the other side to stoke feelings of nationalism. Back here at this viewing platform, there
are construction vehicles everywhere. For years, the Sikhs have lobbied for
easier access to their holy site and after years the two governments
finally agreed to build a little notch into this border, a corridor that will allow Sikhs
to freely access their site without a visa. These four kilometers will restore a small
part of what was once the Sikh heartland. But for millions of Indians and Pakistanis
who continue to live with the repercussions
of the traumatic events of 1947, this fortified and volatile border remains
unchanged. If anything, it’s getting thicker. Seventy years later, the shadow
of partition continues to divide families, halt trade, cut connection,
stop cooperation, instill fear, promote hatred and the people who live in its shadow on
both sides, old and young, continue to live with this division that’s superimposed
upon their history of deep connection.

Comments 100

  • Hi everyone. I hope you liked Ep1! If you want some behind the scenes on Vox Borders, become a member of the Video Lab. This Thursday I'll be doing a live Q&A with the whole Borders team to talk about how we make these episodes:
    Also, Borders producer Christina Thornell's video recommendations are available to watch in the Lab now, as are a bunch of goodies from past seasons. Go check it out!

  • We don't want white Christian s coming here and not telling the truth, ok we hindus feel that there is a fight between the two religions Islam and christianity to who should take over India, don't think we are fools pkz go away leave India to indians

  • i felt crying..

  • Main reason I hate Britain

  • u cant understand feeling of both sides when they r near border across that gate….its feeling of being indian. i dont hate of partition, coz i believe in karma. its result of some people actions. people always make chaos. hope harmony spread all over the world.

  • The man at 14:29 just spoke the ultimate truth.

  • Weapons sales. Ghandi was the biggest obstacle. Shot by Ramachandra Vinayak Godse19 May 1910 Baramati, Pune district, Bombay Presidency, British Raj.
    Where the british then disposed of him….who, how, why, what provoked the attack?
    The story is "he just shot him…" it is never that simple.

  • Happy birthday Ghandi…October 2nd

  • Why not you make a video from Pakistan too? 💁‍♂️

  • Highly hear touching!!!thank you fox,love you!!

  • That was epic! But show other side of picture from Pakistan too..
    Pakistanis and Indians are rivals in their own countries and friends in foreign countries! <3

  • In India borders thousand of people died bcz of the terrorist attacks conducted by pakistan. You can research even Americans know that

  • You r showing wrong border line of India..

  • India want peace you just see old west Pakistan means Bangladesh & India relations is very very good that one also Muslims county problem is Pakistan not India okay Jai Hind 🙏🇮🇳

  • so Hindu and Muslims lived side by side in peace until British came and divide them, 🙄

  • Thank God partition happened. So that I don't have to live with these people in my country. They can make the poison of radical islamic terrorism and they can drink it by themselves.

  • He may have had weeks, but according to the Guardian it took him the course of a lunch to draw it. Half an hour. But it's good to see another viewpoint with more sources.


  • LOL.. You can see clear difference between both countries children. They are not the same.

  • LOL.. You can see clear difference between both countries children. They are not the same.

  • Holy site of Sikhism are very well secured in Pakistan, where India has bombed golden Temple of Sikhs in 84,

  • Thank God Partition happened. We are happy in Pakistan. -Peace.

  • Nice documentary. People should realize that love is the path to happiness. Hatred destroys others and self.

  • Not the leaders Only Kuran is the epicenter of haterness between India and Pakistan

  • 1:52 I swear I cried over seeing this. the division of the sikh people's golden temple and guru nanak temple and sikh community watching their 'guru nanak' temple through scopes across the border 😢 😢 most painful scene for me. but thanks to Allah and "Imran Khan" for making corridor so that sikh community from India can now come to "guru nanak" temple without any Visa or passport 🙏😘
    love from Pakistan 🇵🇰💗

  • First correct da Indian map….

  • Hi, I am from Bangladesh. Liked the episode very much. However, whenever any story about the Indian partition of 1947 is talked about mostly the west Pakistani and the Punjabi side of the story is focused. The same story happened with Bangladesh and the plight of the Bengalis are no different. I would be great if you can do a story about this side of the border. Thnx.

  • It was important because some of hindus were murdering muslims
    And to save muslims from some of those hindus Muslim leaders and The british created a seperate country

  • Famous policy of british is divide and rule

  • Why does every sad story start with the Britishers drawing a line on the map

  • adesh adesh!!! brother yes we are culturally related CONGRATULATION for bringing this beautiful work …if the walls of GERMANY can dissolve then LOC can also…. not only this sikh place but many nath yoga sights are also divided …love

  • Every Indian and Pakistani should watch this! Let the people know the truth and stop spreading hatred.

  • I want to know how Pakistan adopted their dress code. Also is there any connection with their dress code and the dress code of Rajasthan?

  • Total madness

  • This video is very emotional.

  • I’m always watching Vice there my go to News around the world guide.
    But you’re a pretty good host so thanks for the hard work great video👍🏼
    I just subscribed

  • please upload about NORTHEAST INDIA of Christian people thankyou.

  • U have to mention East Pakistan (Bangladesh) too.

  • When I'm watching this video this got more than 104k likes from India n Pakistan. This no. of likes says the truth that deep in our hearts we both love our neighbours who belonged to a single nation some 70 yrs ago. So let's spread this msg of brotherhood.


  • Simply Amazing

  • Islam is a curse.

  • Division Based on Religion is the Number one Mistake . Same People Only what differs them is the Religion Here in India And Pakistan u will find Same People with different religious Identity .

  • Muslims, Hindu, Sikh, Christians, Jews, etc… when we are left in peace, we coexist in peace. Hate is the oldest political tool in the box.

  • This is all that's required to turn the people away from the Kashmiris

  • Drawing that bizarre border, come now lady you know as well as me, it was done to precisely create conflicts and keep the newly liberated ex-colonies pre-occupied in wars and self destruct. Luckily it has not happened yet.

  • Johnny, I enjoy your work. Your very clear and articulate in all your studies. Thanks!

  • As an Indian… i can say Modi is the biggest poison.. love my Pakistani brothers and sisters🇮🇳❤️🇵🇰

  • Just what Britain wants…

  • Sikhs and Hindus taking care of a mosque in India while ancient Hindu temples are being demolished in Pakistan👌🏼

  • as i have seen so many video's on indian and pakistan on youtube,weather its about military power or weapons ot nukes or love and brotherhood..i have gone through the comments and i have seen that the comment are according to the videos …if the vedio is showing love and brotherhood we can see love and brotherhood in comments also and if the video is showing hate then we can see hate in comments…

  • Fully respect for Sheikh brothers

  • Pakistan no 1 terrorist country in the world, it should be destroyed

  • Narendra modi is a great leader you cant blame them

  • Any reason for choosing India but not Pakistan to shoot this video.


  • Parkinstan and . India should aim their nukes at England instead of aiming at one another. 🎅

  • A crying shame. Partition was an absolute disaster for everyone

  • It's an eye opener video…First of all, our brains are completely occupied with prejudices…Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs all are having less communication and disbelief for each other… Literacy level is increasing but our brain is shrinking in all these countries… Children are better than the elders..Give respect to each other guys..Fight with poverty and spread harmony..Peaceful coexistence is needed not the religious hatred which shatters all the developments.

  • cyril did wrong with humanity. that is not forgivable. and now india not a secular country but ultra hinduism.

  • British, RSS and Jihadis created all these chaos and hatred.
    Hope we could all connect together in love and brotherhood.

  • Now both Pakistani and Indian Govts. are building a corridor in Kartarpur. This will help the Sikh brothers to visit their holy place.

  • Border is wrong. Pakistan should have been much larger.

  • Gandhi was assasinated because he agreed to the partition and now a days pakistan sends terrorists to murder our soldiers and started wars which they lost though so a lot has changed and pakistan also butchered bangladeshis and almost anyone they come in contact with so good old days are gone

  • This is the reality of the British rule in India

  • U can't compare them based on politics.
    Development shows who wants peace & who wants terrorism.

  • My moms family lost a very large property and generations of wealth. Few of them lost their lives too

  • What did prime minister said wrong at 14:35
    Well sikh respect all religion ??? They don't …….. they don't like Hindus and Hindu prime minister
    They are KHALISTANI sikh separatists who support Pakistan……….the people Pakistani who liked you from Pakistan ,you support them ????

    Pakistani send terrorist so what do you sikh expect from India ??? Not even to speak a word ???

  • Am I the only one who whole heartedly hates british ?

  • Don't let politics divide us

  • For the second side of story you meeds to visit our lovely Pakistan. We Pakistan don't want to live with India, check Pakistan is opening Karta pur corridor and on same time India is make violence in Indian occupied Kashmir, today @5th oct 2019 it's 65th day of intense military curfew in Indian occupied Kashmir, Kashmir's have shortage of food, medicine, fuel, amount to run house feed their families if you don't work than how you earn money, more than 8million peoples life is at risk, Indian army making great historic violence in Indian occupied Kashmir, think about it

  • White man's burden > An uncontrollable urge shared by some white men to improve the lives of non-whites and ending up destroying them

  • This is a masterpiece.

  • You can see what is India doing in Kashmir Pakistani Prime Minister set them if if you move one feet for peace we will move 2 feet for peace we created Kartarpur corridor but India's leaders try to manipulate the situation for their good

  • British tayolikal ellathinyum kaaranam..myranmaaru..motham kattu mudichi..Panna naayinte makkal..

  • such eye opening video

  • I just came here from watching the Hong Kong video and this just show's how people in the world have no heart and people are dieing , getting hurt and so much . And after seeing the school parts it hurts kids can get along, but adults can't. 😥😥😥😥😥😥😥😥😥😥😥

  • this is really unfortunate

  • One of the great tragedies of history…I hope to see a United Indian subcontinent in my lifetime

    They gave birth to Hinduism, Yoga, karma, Buddhism meditation etc etc

    It's a special and holy land and deserves to be back under one umbrella

  • We need a second Gandhi to come and unite the subcontinent… From Kabul all the way to Burma.. Just like it was in ancient days

  • People love to blame everything on politicians as if common man is totally innocent.

  • "It is the politicians, who poison people's minds"

  • But surely Muslims do need separate place. Thats why Pakistan came into being .

  • Not single chapter about this in our so called history books what we're studying.

  • Get your facts right. The Pak army has continuously invaded our borders and sent over terrorists and infiltrators to promote unrest and fear. India has made several attempts for peace. Even as late as 2016. We aren't taking it lying down anymore. We aren't the ones to promote war like conditions. That doesn't mean we don't send a suitable reply to those terror mongers, who would rather spend money on war than developing their country. Get your facts right before showing the goodie two shoes kind of picture of Pakistan.

  • There is an error in this documentary!
    There is no religion called Muhammadans it’s Islam which started from the First creation Adam .
    Islam is freely submitting your will to the creator ..

  • Friendship should be there between two neighboring countries but to be honest India and Pakistan can never become friends . It's not gonna happen (I am all for friendship but unfortunately it is not gonna happen it is the harsh reality ) it has been tried in past but all efforts went in vain .

  • That's a amazing research about every facts…Thanks..keep it up🙂

  • hahaha..White mindset about what they called third world country..U are mental bankrupt..If u wanna show balanced..Ur vedio has tons of flaws which shows ur real intention behind d topic..Maybe u r Innocent but plz do more research

  • Wao this man had worked harder to compile all situation s and emotion briefly.

  • عنون حلو لانو مترجم عربي

  • 😭

  • Amazing stuff. Keeping making such insightful videos. Never saw this side of things.

  • Don’t know for how many centuries these people will pay the price of British haste.

  • Ohy pindoo log . Angraz hum log Ka pongi bajaa gya .

  • This guy did his research

  • The worst thing that could happen to India and Pak were the Brits !

  • 1:51 what's with that look😂😂😂😂

  • LORD CURZON is father of communalism in india
    british policy of divide and rule lead to this and this prevails till today
    they took out the health ,wealth and peace of our nation

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