This refers to the article “The absence in Punjabiyat’s split universe” (Aug. 15). I support the idea of a memorial for the one million innocent Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims, who became victims of fratricide in 1947 when two irrational nations were created to appease the hunger of some politicians and ruling classes. The memorial should be named Toba Tek Singh, after the unforgettable story of Sadat Hasan Manto on Partition and its brutalities.
The governments of India and Pakistan should spare some land on the border and jointly build this memorial, allowing civilians of both countries to visit it and pay their tributes.
I am a Punjabi and I was disappointed on reading the article which has overlooked the atrocities committed in erstwhile Punjab — the ethnic cleansing of our forefathers who tilled the rich and fertile lands of west Punjab for centuries but had to come to east Punjab empty-handed. It does not mention forcible religious conversions, attacks on temples and gurdwaras and selective extortion which exist even today in west Punjab.
The 1947 Partition is a major reason for the political and social apathy — including the selective censoring of Urdu — of the people of east Punjab. Sixty-five years is too short a time for the indelible scars of the worst riots in history to fade. A selective flogging of east Punjab without a comparison with the west is uncalled for.