Urvashi Butalia offers personal insights into Partition

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      Last July, I had the privilege of hosting a discussion with Delhi publisher Urvashi Butalia about Partition—which led to the creation of India and Pakistan—at the annual Indian Summer Festival.

      Butalia, author of The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India, explained to an audience at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts at SFU Woodward's that her uncle and grandmother remained in Lahore, Pakistan. The rest of the family moved to India.

      "My mother never got to know when her mother died," Butalia said. "So my first step in beginning this research was to go to Pakistan and find my uncle."

      The Indian Summer Festival Society recently put the audiotape on YouTube, supplemented with still photos. It offers revealing insights into a monumental event in world history, which led to the death of approximately one million people.

      Anyone with an interest in Partition—and presumably, this includes a vast number of local residents who trace their roots to Punjab—might enjoy hearing what Butalia had to say.