Kids Corner

Images - The Children of Partition: details from a photo taken in Ludhiana, Punjab in January 1947. Courtesy, Shakila.


A Sikhnee Called Fatima Bibi




The following is presented as part of's ongoing series, "The Partition & I"


Lahore, Pakistan

On Friday, I went to attend the book launching ceremony of Jaswant Singh's book on Jinnah and the Partition of 1947 at a local private golf club. As I had read the book when it was first launched, a question lurked in my mind about what the future held for the ‘sub-continent of hate' that we live in.

As the book launch was consigned to ‘partial chaos' as participants launched, on invitation, into tea and cakes before the ceremony began, it was best to quietly leave and ponder over the suffering the partition of 1947 had brought to the poor of our land.

As the posh of Lahore tucked into sweet delights, outside the heat beat down harsh and fast. My thoughts swayed from my usual Sunday article to focus on the outcome of a remarkable person we are researching with regard to the events of 1947, a ‘holocaust' the sort the world has seldom seen, definitely the largest exodus in human history and one that our elders are still ashamed to discuss openly. For this I condemn my elders, for they have not been truthful about our past.

That is why what Jaswant Singh has to say in his book needs much deeper and honest appreciation by all, especially Indians.

Sadly, both sides have their eyes shut tightly to the reality of partition.

Let me dwell on my research subject, and as she lives on the edge of Lahore, her story needs to be described. We must not make the mistake our elders have made. We must confront the truth, and face it for a better future.

Last month, while on a research visit to a village near Cheechon-ke-Malian, just 18 miles outside Lahore to the west, I set off in search of an old woman a worker in my place of work described as a ‘Sikhnee'. The description had an allure to it, and as we are researching the subject, it made sense to meet this ‘Sikhnee'.

At first her son, the bearded village ‘mullah', refused to let us talk to the old woman. After a considerable persuasion, we managed with the promise not to direct others to their house, and that we would not name him or his mother. To this promise we stick.

We met this old woman, aged approximately 78 - if our calculations are correct - whose sun-tanned skin had freshness to it. The wrinkles on her face depicted her silent suffering. Maybe it was a thought in my mind. She was not bent as old women tend to be, but was a strong, well-set healthy woman used to working hard in the fields and in the house.

Her name now is Fatima Bibi. Her husband was also the village ‘mullah' and she married him in 1947. He died almost six years ago. "Jeth de pehli nu moya si," said Fatima Bibi. 'He died on the first of the month of Jeth."

She served me with a cold drink, and her great grandson also got one in the bargain.

Her story goes like this.

Her real name was Jindan Kaur and her father's name was Heera Singh Bhatti. They belonged to a village outside Sheikhupura just before Jandiala a hundred yards from the main ‘moogha' (water channel) as she put it.

In August 1947, their village was attacked by a Muslim mob. A few Sikh elders - aniticipating the usual brutalizing of women by the mobs - killed their daughters before the mob could reach the young girls. Ultimately, they were saved by the army who came in two trucks full of soldiers. The entire village of Sikhs was taken to the Sheikhupura railway station and they were put into a railway bogey stuffed like animals and bound for Lahore, from where they were to go onwards to Amritsar in the new India, their new home.

Jindan then described the blood-curdling event of how their train was attacked near Cheechon-ke-Malian railway station. Every male member, as well as children and old women, were hacked to pieces.

"Tottay kar ditay sadday!"- We were hacked into little pieces!

The young Jindan was taken away by the local toughs and they did what frenzied men do. "Javani lut lai-ee. Kakh na chaddaaya. Rool ditta. Jeenday jee maryaa ve nahi."  - They looted our youth. Didn't even leave its ashes. Ruined us. Left us neither living nor dead!

There were no tears in her eyes, for mine had welted on listening to her description of events. She looked at me and said: "Baoo, athroo da koi faida nai jaddon mera bapoo tottay ho gay"- Sir, what's the point of tears when even my father was hacked into pieces!

The fate of her dear father had sealed time for her. She was the 15-year old Jindan when she talked lovingly of him. Her son was getting uneasy as she started to open up. I changed the topic to calm him. The ruse work well. After a while I started off again to listen to what happened to Jindan Kaur alias Fatima Bibi.

The train had about 105 women, most of them young. Jindan was then a mere 15-year old.

She was raped by a number of men, she does not recall the number. The young village mullah took her to his house after the ‘animals' had satiated their lust. He nursed her to health. He then advised that she convert to Islam and he would marry her.

It was a noble deed by any reckoning. He took her glazed eyes and her silence as acceptance for his offer. A year later, soldiers came to the village and offered all kidnapped Hindu and Sikh women to get on an army lorry to be taken to India. They, however, warned, that Sikhs were killing all their own women who had been dishonoured. [A ruse to terrify such women further - tens of thousands of them - so that they would not avail of the bi-national exchange scheme and opt for staying in Pakistan!]

Life continued to offer no choices.

Jindan was pregnant. She had no family to go to. Life did not offer a choice. For her life began and ended that fateful day. The rest has been mere existence and she waits for the day when she will be released from her mortal remains. The old Punjabi woman described her fate as only she could:

"Baoo, mera akhri saah barra mitha hoyay ga." -  Sir, my last breath will be a very sweet one!

Her son scolded her for the remark.

The victims of 1947 abound in the villages of Punjab.

In 2010, they are forgotten.

The description ‘Sikhnee' is a slur that she bears without malice. Her four sons and five daughters do not like the way people call her. Hate has an unforgiving element. Inconspicuous references hide a story, often one of pain and suffering.

If only she could again call herself Jindan Kaur with pride and without feeling guilty. That day will surely come, of this I have no doubt.

There are thousands like her in Pakistan and India. They are the forgotten people our elders shut their eyes to. That is why preserving the truth of 1947 is critical if we are to claw our way back to normalcy.

That is why what Jaswant Singh has to say matters too.

That is why I left the ‘tea and cakes' mob to think about Jindan Kaur.

Life still does not offer her any choice.


[Courtesy: The Dawn]

April 27, 2010

Conversation about this article

1: Ravinder Singh Taneja (Westerville, Ohio, U.S.A.), April 27, 2010, 11:07 AM.

The painful pierce of her words leaves me wondering about a benevolent, kind God; maybe the larger plan is veiled from my limited human understanding, yet ... I can't but question why such cruelty, pain and suffering marks our existence.

2: Taran (London, United Kingdom), April 27, 2010, 11:24 AM.

It makes my heart tremble each time I read such a story!

3: T. Sher Singh (Mount Forest, Ontario, Canada), April 27, 2010, 11:43 AM.

A clarification here may be necessary, because - understandably - the fact that many fathers chose to kill their womenfolk as the marauding mobs approached their homes during the Partition massacres, causes a lot of distress as to why the need to resort to such an extreme measure. Muslim writers in Pakistan and Hindu ones in India either choose not to explain, or are unaware of, the context and terror behind it all. It is imperative that we be aware of the context. They were NOT honour killings. Young girls who were captured, or left after the men were massacred by the Muslim mobs, were first gang-raped and them mutilated. Their breasts were hacked off, for example, and they were then left abandoned on the scene. Later, the mobs started abducting the younger ones after the gang-rapes - and they ended up being forcibly converted to Islam and married off. There were several instances - my father personally witnessed some of the victims, when he was part of late night rescue sorties behind 'enemy lines' into Pakistan. He described to me once how he found young girls with their breasts torn off, and children with both hands cut off, and/or the faces mutilated, the victims left lying in their pools of blood ... still alive! This was a widespread practice amongst the Muslim mobs - thousands of Pathans from Afghanistan had been imported to do the worst of their dirty work. [Remember, the terror was calculated, intentional and strategic from the Pakistani side - it was THEIR plan to have the 'direct action' terrorize the Sikhs and Hindus into fleeing en masse, and thus creating a de facto Pakistan! Which is exactly what happened!] And it is true, Hindus and Sikhs retaliated with violence, but they never sank to such lows. Like the Nazi holocaust, this was not a time which humanity can point to while claiming any degree of superiority to the animal kingdom!

4: Harvind Kaur (Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.), April 27, 2010, 12:02 PM.

I strongly recommend the book by Shauna Singh Baldwin entitled "What the Body Remembers". It is not a factual account of 1947 - it is fiction. But it is one of the best retelling/ rememberances in a collective way of this time period. By far the best writing expressing the reality of the time will always remain Khushwant Singh's "Train From Pakistan". Sometimes people shy away from reading history and fiction speaks to them better. These two books offer good historical fiction that grapples with the realities of Partition.

5: Inni Kaur (Fairfield, CT, U.S.A.), April 27, 2010, 3:27 PM.

A few years ago, while working on a project, I stepped into something that shook my little world. I truly believe that I was guided to meet this woman. While this is her story, it has become my personal project to find Veera! I don't know if I ever will, but as a sister, I cannot rest until I do my very best in uniting one sister with another. If I was separated from my sister I would hope that someone would do the same for me. A young Sikh girl named Veera was whisked away from Dhamali village, which is near Kallar Syedan, in March of 1947. A Muslim family by the name of Kyam Mehra also lived in Dhamali. Mehra Kyam was a thorough gentleman. But his son Vadhi was a shady character. The physical description of Vadhi was that he was very tall. He died a couple of years ago. A daayi (maid-servant) named Bea was also from Dhamali. The information that I have been able to piece so far is that she, along with Vadhi, picked up all the pretty Sikh girls during the riots and took then across the Jhelum. After that I have no information. Much after 1947, Veera's father went looking for her. This is what I know from her sister. "Dad, went to the village of Sathwani, to meet Lai who used to look after the lands. He said that he came a few days before the riot to tell Veera to come with him and stay at his place. He was a good man. But Veera did not go with him. When my father met him, he was crying and said, 'I pleaded with Veera to come and stay with him, because I knew what was going to happen. But I could not say anything because I was sworn to secrecy. I would not give any other information also as they would kill my family.' " There is a Sikh named Avtar Singh in the village who stayed behind and became a Muslim. I truly believe he knows something.

6: Amarjit Singh Chandan (London, United Kingdom), April 27, 2010, 4:38 PM.

This comment I want to share is from my historian friend, Bhagwan Singh Josh, Head & Professor of History at Jawaharlal Nehru University: "Dear Chandan jio: This person seems to be very young yet. I also heard similar stories from six women in my village. There are women in almost all the Punjabi villages. They even told me who the rapists were. But what it has to do with Jaswant Singh's book? JS is using the stick of the past to beat the present day Congress leaders by saying that Jinnah was smarter than Gandhi and Nehru. Will you call that man smarter who did not understand that his strategy will divide the Muslims of the subcontinent into three separate countries? But he did serve the Punjabi Muslim elite unintentionally by giving power over other Muslim nationalities. Sometimes the unintended consequences of history are more important than the intended one. One of the tragedies of history is that it always drinks the blood of the innocent. We do not like it but this is how nations/ revolutions are made. Look at what the Jews are doing today. Remembering the bloody past is a double-edged weapon.

7: Sandeep Singh Bajwa (Philadelphia, U.S.A.), April 27, 2010, 5:27 PM.

Islam as a religion teaches to terrorize non-Muslims to accept Islam. This practice has been going on for centuries. We only need to realize that Muslims have never accepted non-Muslims and will never do so in the future.

8: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), April 27, 2010, 6:22 PM.

This has again brought back a flood of memories, good and bad. The wounds no longer bleed. There are scars to mark the passage of time. The words of George Eliot, from 'The Mill on the Floss', comes to mind: "Nature repairs her ravages, repairs them with her sunshine, and with human labour. But, Nature repairs her ravages, but not all. The up-torn trees are not rooted again; the parted hills are left scarred; if there is a new growth, the trees are not the same as the old, and the hills underneath their green vesture bear the marks of the past rending. To the eyes that have dwelt on the past, there is no thorough repair." 'Nak nath khassam hath kirat dhakay day/ Jahaa daanay tahaan khaannay nankaa sach hay' - "The string through the nose is in the hands of the Lord Master, one's own actions drive man on/ Wherever his food is, there he eats it. O Nanak this is the Truth!" [GGS:652.12] In 1954, my 'daanay's landed me in Singapore. Between 1955 - 1957, there appeared an article in the TIME Magazine that I had saved but unfortunately it became a victim to the ravages of time. I lost it and now remember it vaguely through the haze of time. Perhaps some of readers may recall it. During the mass exodus in 1947, a 15 year old young Muslim girl got separated from her parents. Luckily, she was found by a Gurmukh Bhai, Kartar Singh, who took her under his protection. They lived in a village near the border. She was soon adopted like their own daughter. The newly found Bapu Ji, Ami Ji and veer ji doted on her, while they continued to trace her biological parents. In the meantime, Bhai Kartar Singh found someone to continue with her Muslim upbringing and encouraged her to perform her five prayers daily, together with the study ofthe Quran Sharif. This continued for nearly two years until they finally traced her parents in Pakistan. It was a heart-wrenching moment when the time of parting came. The girl clung to her Bapu ji and Ami ji that she did not want to leave them now. But, go she must, like all daughters do. Bapu ji and Ami ji sent her like their own daughter with a suitable dowry and their tearful blessings. 'Hun thoray nai ghanay' - There are a few but not many of the likes of Bhai Kartar Singh to keep the flame of goodness burning.

9: N. Singh (Canada), April 27, 2010, 7:26 PM.

Sangat Singh ji: this reminds me of my own grandfather! During the days of the partition, he was returning home from work when he found two small children (brother and sister) sitting besides the dead bodies of their parents. He brought them home and later adopted them, in addition to having six children of his own to support. Later, he insisted that they be married into Muslim families and never allowed them to convert ... however, all this is besides the point. This article goes to show us that neither Muslim nor Hindu is our friend until we have our own homeland; our people will be destined to suffer at the hands of others ... how long will we have to wander like the Jews in the wilderness before Waheguru brings us back to our home!

10: Jasvinder (Hamilton, New Zealand), April 27, 2010, 9:30 PM.

After reading passages like this, I wonder do I belong to the human race ... I feel like we are all animals. Who is to say, if the same situation happens today, how are we going to deal with it? Aren't we still stuck in the same mentality, 'Muslims are different from Sikhs', etc., or they are worse than us or we are the better ones? I wonder what will Sikh youth do in same situation today, are we teaching them well? It is one thing to remember the past and talk about it, and completely different thing to learn from it. What have we learned?

11: Amarjit Singh Chandan (London, United Kingdom), April 28, 2010, 3:01 AM.

This is from Nirupama Dutt, Punjabi writer and journalist: "Chandan: So kind of you to think I am capable of making this film. Besides the fact of my personal difficulties in getting away, the whole problem is a complex one. The comments on suggest that Islam is all bad and Hindus and Sikhs never sank so low. Whereas you and I know that they did this and much more to Muslim women in our part of Punjab. Who is going to film that? A film on Fatima would be an intrusion into her unhappy life and trauma to her family. I think this problem has been dealt very well in fiction be it 'Khamosh Pani', "Pinjar', 'Karmanwali' or the stories of Manto and others. Will like to publish stories of Muslim women who met with similar fate and are living with Sikh names in East Punjab. [Editor: Yes. We are always open to both sides of any issue.] Only when we can rise above our personal religion and see a victim not as Sikh, Hindu or Muslim but as a human being, can we be competent enough to address this problem. I think there is a lot of merit in what Bhagwan Josh is saying. Let us not single out Fatima, for there were thousands on both sides of the border who met with such or even worse fate."

12: Gurdip Chana (London, England), April 28, 2010, 3:20 AM.

"How long will we have to wander like the Jews in the wilderness before Waheguru brings us back to our home!" Why do we say such things? The WORLD is our HOME! - read the Gurus - Do we need a land to remain powerful - How can land help us? If we attune our minds to the Guru - Each of us will find all the strength we need. The last line of the ardaas - "Nanak naam chardi kala - tere bhane sarbat da bhalla!" Our lives are complete once we have naam in our mind to elevate us to chardi kalaa, and we must obey the command of God (no matter how harsh it may seem to us) since it is for the best of humanity (sarbat da bhalla). That's why we have gurdwaras - we may not have political power (why get engrossed in such matters anyway) - but we certainly have centres where we can educate and continue propagating our faith.

13: Harinder (Jalandhar, Punjab), April 28, 2010, 9:58 AM.

It is not their fault. It is permitted under their religion to take captive girls as slaves for sex. In Islamic Divine law (Arabic: Sharia), it is called: "Ma malakat aymanukum"

14: Surinder (Massachusetts, U.S.A.), April 28, 2010, 1:20 PM.

Liberals, in a foolish attempt to display even-handedness, will say "We did it too." No, we did not. Go ahead and provide examples if we did. Not exceptions, mind you, show a trend. Show us a pattern that Sikhs also indulged in the same level of bestiality. (As a side note: Which community came up with the bright idea that let us partition this ancient land using the help of firanghees?)

15: Taran (London, United Kingdom), April 28, 2010, 2:36 PM.

Many people can say that violence was committed on both sides in 1947. In fact, it was. But, to be very true, we Sikhs suffered the most. We were the most prosperous. A few years ago, CHANNEL 4 here in the U.K. showed a documentary about 1947 and there were some interviews from the prominent personalities from both the sides. Till my death, I would remember some of the words one retired Pakistani Military officer said - He said that Muslims can sense if there is a strong wind going to blow from far away, and Sikhs would only know when that strong wind has come and gone. In a way he suggested that they were very well prepared to sense the times which were about to come (Partition and domination by Hindus). Time and time again we have faltered as a community and paid the price heavily. We need strong leaders like Sant Bhindranwale who can infuse that Sikh warrior spirit once again. (Not many people would agree with that but I lived in India and was a kid in those times; he, along with the other shaheeds, was a true leader who had the guts to stand up for the rights of a minority). In school, we were always taught the curriculum where Nehru and Mohandas Gandhi were the father figures of India. Even today, we are not aware of the dangers posing us in India and abroad!

16: Jassi Singh (Boston, MA, U.S.A.), April 28, 2010, 11:10 PM.

Sad story. Too bad that people are using the Partition horror stories for a reason to stir up the Khalistan issue. Do they want to re-enact the same thing again? Sikhs may have been innocent in those days but we are a different breed today and have proven ourselves capable of violence. Take this story and learn how power and desire for it corrupts. This lady went through so much pain ... do we want to see it happen again?

17: K. Kaur (Canada), April 29, 2010, 10:40 AM.

The fear is that it will happen again (Nov 1984 and Disappearances) as well as ghetto-ization of the Punjab, especially if there is no Khalistan! "Power and desire" can also protects its people, ensure their rights are respected and their voices are heard!

18: Ajay Singh (Rockville, U.S.A.), April 29, 2010, 7:45 PM.

We have had our fair share of violent criminals: K.P.S. Gill, Gen. Brar, are but only two examples.

19: Brijinder Singh (New York, U.S.A.), April 30, 2010, 1:04 PM.

Sikhs are always taken advantage of because we are a minority. We should not be deceived into thinking that other people share our compassion and good nature. Why should we expect a majority to care about a group that only makes up about 2% of India's population today? Sikhs did not get a homeland in 1947 because they did not constitute a majority in any region that was large enough to matter. What were our options back then? We had already lost Nankana Sahib to Pakistan and separating from India would have lost us Hazoor Sahib and Patna Sahib as well. We were promised semi-autonomy, but instead were betrayed time and time again. To have more control over our own, we gave up Haryana so that we could form a majority in the tiny part of Punjab that we have left. Even that majority is now being diluted by the scores of migrant workers that are flocking to Punjab from neighboring states. To cite a post by a previous participant, the wind is coming and it will result in the loss of Sikh control of the Punjab. We will no longer be a majority in that tiny region and Hindi and Hinduization will be dominant. The Akal Takht is controlled by the Akali Dal, and the Akali Dal is allied with BJP, and the BJP is run by the RSS. Doesn't that make you wonder who is really controlling the seat of power in Sikhism? Bhindrawale saw the wind coming and so should we. Khalistan is a must if we want to retain power in Punjab. The power to decide our own affairs, the power to punish those who try to harm our people, and the power to defend ourselves from our enemies. It is a numbers game. We need our own stake in this world. We cannot continue to be left at the mercy of others.

20: Surinder (Massachusetts, U.S.A.), May 03, 2010, 1:13 AM.

It never ceases to amaze me: Pakistani Muslims violently ejected us by carefully designed riots, took over our property and lands, raped our women, took over our gurdwaras (most of them were turned into schools, private homes, etc.) - after all this, all we have been left with is ... an oppressing India!

21: Devinder Pal Singh (Delhi, India), May 03, 2010, 8:24 AM.

This is a heart-rending narrative. The words of the old lady draw attention from deep within. All of us, no matter what religion we belong to, admit that life is a journey to meet the Almighty. I wonder when a soul, having carried such intensive scars, meets the Almighty, what would be the result? Maybe it would find solace like a child, having been through the roughs, rests comfortably in his father's or mother's lap. Nonetheless, the scars received stand out and hurt, perhaps mankind cannot learn from its repeated follies. I am sure the pious and God-fearing would pray to the Almighty to relieve humanity of such sufferings. May we all learn from history and strife to eradicate the pain and suffering that we continue to inflict on ourselves in the name of caste, creed, religion and nationality, for if its not contained and eliminated, the words of the elderly lady would become common, and everyone would wait for that beautiful sleep to find eternal peace. May better sense prevail and mankind practices tolerance towards each other for its own betterment.

22: Jaswant Singh Sachdev (Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.), May 03, 2010, 12:38 PM.

In the context of comment no. 19: We do not need others to finish us off or reduce our numbers of what little we had left. With the speed with which young Sikhs in Punjab and elsewhere are willingly running to the barbers' shops to walk away from their Guru-given identity, there will be no need left for a so-called Khalistan, for after all, you need Khalsa to people it, don't you!

23: Pradip Kumar Shome (Chennai, India), May 07, 2010, 4:10 AM.

This story of Fatima Bibi is heart-touching. There were thousands of such stories in Punjab. Bengalis met a similar fate in East Bengal.

24: Akhil (London, United Kingdom), June 18, 2010, 6:10 PM.

My grand-parents moved from Pakistan to India while my parents were kids of 5-7 yrs age. For most of our life, we have been going to a gurdwara and not hindu temples. Even though I consider myself a Hindu, but I prefer to go to a gurdwara. We had a tradition till recently where at least one son in the family would convert to Sikhi. On all important occasions, we have akhand paatth at home. I have more love for and faith in a gurdwara than hindu temples. But when I read about comments from people who complain about the atrocities on Sikhs in India, I don't quite understand that. I know there have been tragedies in the past (the Delhi pogrom in 1984 are but one such example) and a black blot on all Hindus. The culprits should be punished and Hindu samaj owes an apology for what happened ... and so much more. But don't you think we should still have one country? A 'great' India, where we all live together ... Jai Punjab! [Editor: We share your sentiments. But it can only happen if Justice is delivered first ... you should start a campaign for it!]

25: Mahendra (Framingham, MA, U.S.A.), June 23, 2010, 4:18 PM.

This is a heart-rending story - one that can make you cry. There are many, many more. My mother and her family had to leave Karachi and migrate out. One question though: why is it that the population of Sikhs and Hindus in Pakistan has continuously declined since Partition? Did the forced conversions never stop?

26: Jasneet kaur (Bangalore, India), September 28, 2010, 6:20 AM.

"kive(n) bhuliye '84 noo, jinne saade ruuhaa(n) noo ander tak hai hilaaya .../ Yaad aandi hai una bekasooraa(n) di, jinna noo maaraya, jina nu kataya, te jinna si jalaya,/ massoom bacchayaa(n) noo vi na bakshaaya, te bhainaa noo saare aam be-aabroo karaya .../ vasde hoye ghar luttey, saade veer baale, nehatiyaa te vaar kar ke, jinna apne ensaniyat nu vi si jalaya,/ '84 noo shuruvaat banaake, kinne saalaa(n) tak, sadde veera da katle-aam na mukaaya,/ kasoor-vaaraa(n) noo inaam dittey, te saahnu enssaf de laraya vich hai laya,/ kissaa(n) bhuliye hindu-aa(n) de una gunaahaa(n) noo, jinna tey kisi ne marham na kadi laya,/ kive(n) bbuliye '84 noo, jinne saade ruuhaa(n) noo ander tak hai hilaaya ..."

27: Shamsher Ali  (London, England ), November 15, 2012, 6:40 PM.

To all who killed and raped, for them Allah's Hell awaits them.

28: Majid Sheikh (Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan), October 11, 2013, 6:34 AM.

The orgy that was the Partition has been followed by an even greater tragedy. Both sides wish to forget it. The silence of our elders is also criminal. For this reason the wounds may never heal.

29: G. (United Kingdom), December 03, 2013, 7:23 AM.

The one exemplary ruler of our Punjab was Maharaja Ranjit Singh. For centuries, this region was invaded and ruled by foreigners: Mongols, Greeks, Arabs, British, etc. We (Punjabis, either from the Pakistani part or the Indian) have long been plagued by foreign greed. It's time to reunite Punjab and start defending our own people. I should be Punjabi first, not Pakistani or Indian. Religion has nothing to do with my identity. I'm Punjabi and will work for a United Punjab.

30: Arun K Upadhyaya (Mughalsarai, India), November 22, 2014, 4:15 PM.

I am in tears reading this heart-rending story of Fatima Bibi. Wonder how could violence be the cornerstone of any religion. Is it a faith or a code of conduct of the devils who distinguish between mothers, sisters and daughters merely on the basis of their differing faiths. Born of women, they have raped their mothers, sisters and daughters who are all women and this way raped ... killing their own self.What remains of them is an animal in human form.

31: Sushil Anand (India), April 14, 2015, 11:21 AM.

It is important that in this age of internet, all such stories from both sides come out in the open. We must face reality rather than sweep it under the carpet, as we hypocritically are so used to doing until now.

32: Chaudhry (London, United Kingdom), May 04, 2015, 3:38 PM.

It hurts to read this story. I can say with pride that in my area no Sikhs or Hindus were killed or raped. One Hindu family refused to leave, hence converted to Islam. Would like to help trace those Muslim women who got left behind in, or were lost to India, if I can.

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