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BIRTH OF TWO NATIONS AND A MILLION DEATHS

After Britain ended its colonial rule over the Indian subcontinent, two independent nations were created in its place - the secular, Hindu-majority nation of India, and the Islamic republic of Pakistan.

The division, widely referred to as Partition, sparked massive rioting that killed up to 1 million, while another 15 million fled their homes in one of the world’s largest ever human migrations, with Muslims embarking for the newly formed Pakistan as Hindus and Sikhs moved in the opposite direction.

Those who survived the treacherous journey poured into fetid camps erected in cities already pushed to the brink by violence, looting and food shortages.

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Lights, sweets, jewellery and fire-crackers — people across India prepare for the auspicious occasion. The festival is observed on 19th October this year in most parts of India.


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