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Ustad Fateh Ali Khan
The classical maestro opted for Pakistan but admits he paid a price for it: his music.
COMMENTS PRINT
Special Issue: Partition  Partition
At six, she witnessed the slaughter of her family. In 1984, she relived the trauma.
Jeet Behn
Two Hindu families, who never left Dhaka in '47, were hit by the Ayodhya spillover.
P.K. Chakravarty
A Mohajir in Sindh, uprooted from UP, she finds no respite from a harsh, blood-shot life.
Naeema Begum
After two years as Pakistani citizen, she realised she was differently acculturised.
Begum Para
His Pakistani family got Mohajir-ised; he, over here, got marginalised.
Ali Sardar Jafri
The dancer-actress is happy to be in Lahore, says Muslims are kings there.
Uzra Bhatt
Emigre poetry is laden with nostalgia, he says, suggesting a turf for cultural dialogue. More Stories
Kaifi Azmi
Gifted with a syncretic outlook, he decided to go west when all friends, with whom he discussed poetry, left.
Intezar Hussein
A refugee from Calcutta's legal street, he was sensitised to the minority predicament.
Kemaluddin Hossain
The Gentle Giant of Multan wanted to look in on his native Haryana village, but was refused permission.
Inzamam-ul Haq
Haunted by bleak images of riots, famine and migration, he took refuge in literature.
Sunil Gangopadhyay
He saw mud, massacre and betrayal in '47; yet 71 was just duty, not poetic justice.
J.S. Aurora
He came with the deathly 'Karachi Cologne' on him; joined Edwina's rescue team.
From UP's Azamgarh, he called democratic polls after Zia's death; yet retains a sense of dissatisfaction
Fundamentalist by 'birth, instinct, training', his aggressive motto is 'Next year, Lahore'.
They've come very far from the gutter that life threw them into; but his mother still calls Delhiites 'Hindustanis'.
Angry with a dream gone sour, Pakistan's 'Father Teresa' is still fired with optimism.
He hoped for a Lahore, India, address. And fled only when history dictated otherwise.
Though relieved to leave Lahore, she missed its life of the mind. Delhi was a village.
Now head of state, in 1947 he was one among the dispossessed millions.
At 11, torn from his family, he fled East Bengal with Rs 30, borrowed from a Muslim retainer
Special Issue: Partition
These are the stories of women, children, everyman; of the pain and trauma of being uprooted--an account of our holocaust
Sunil Mehra, Arshad Mahmud, Azhar Abbas, Mazhar Zaidi, Pritha Sen

IN the 1950s when I was visiting Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali in Bombay with my brother Amanat, he urged us to leave Pakistan and move to India. "There are only qawwali listeners in Pakistan, and classical musicians like you will be frustrated because nobody is going to take care of you," he told us. We didn't heed his advice. Sometimes, I wish we had.

For me, the Partition was a painful experience. It was a historic compulsion, really, and we went through the motions. Amanat and I were born and bred in the legendary Patiala gharana of Punjab. We soon followed in the footsteps of our forefathers and when I was 10 I was performing in the court of the Maharaja of Patiala along with my father Ali Bakhash Jarnail. We were always secure in the thought that the Maharaja would take care of us, but when Sikh goondas attacked us one day, my father decided to troop westwards.

Amanat and I came to Lahore sitting atop a train. Even now, when I travel by train, I always look at the roof and bitter memories come back to haunt me. For someone who had been brought up in considerable Ipmfort, the journey was a nightmare. What I didn't realise was that there was more horror in store.

More than us, it was our father who was shocked with the treatment we were meted out in a country we thought would be a refuge. Our father, who was so used to performing in a king's court, now had to go door-to-door give tuitions to feed the family. We helped him along, but I think, he suffered the most because of the Partition. Initially, the whole family subsisted on a paltry Rs 45 that we earned for each performance on Radio Pakistan. Gradually, as we settled down, we started getting invites from India. This gave us some breathing space With television's arrival and thanks to the relatively liberal policies of Gen. Ayub Khan, we had some good times. But after the war we stopped receiving offers from India too, which spelt the doom for our classical art, our music, the only thing we had been trained at as a child.

With the mounting tension between the two states, the struggle for survival intensified. It became difficult for an artist like me to make music in the politically volatile Pakistan of the post-'71 war. I began looking outside Pakistan to keep the rich music tradition of my family alive. Today, I have dozens of pupils spread all over the world and I hold occasional concerts in Europe and North America. Just to keep me going.

I am 64. And I live in one of Lahore's poor suburbs. Only my god and I know what I have suffered through the years.

COMMENTS PRINT
At six, she witnessed the slaughter of her family. In 1984, she relived the trauma.
Jeet Behn
Two Hindu families, who never left Dhaka in '47, were hit by the Ayodhya spillover.
P.K. Chakravarty
A Mohajir in Sindh, uprooted from UP, she finds no respite from a harsh, blood-shot life.
Naeema Begum
After two years as Pakistani citizen, she realised she was differently acculturised.
Begum Para
His Pakistani family got Mohajir-ised; he, over here, got marginalised.
Ali Sardar Jafri
The dancer-actress is happy to be in Lahore, says Muslims are kings there.
Uzra Bhatt
Emigre poetry is laden with nostalgia, he says, suggesting a turf for cultural dialogue. More Stories
Kaifi Azmi
Gifted with a syncretic outlook, he decided to go west when all friends, with whom he discussed poetry, left.
Intezar Hussein
A refugee from Calcutta's legal street, he was sensitised to the minority predicament.
Kemaluddin Hossain
The Gentle Giant of Multan wanted to look in on his native Haryana village, but was refused permission.
Inzamam-ul Haq
Haunted by bleak images of riots, famine and migration, he took refuge in literature.
Sunil Gangopadhyay
He saw mud, massacre and betrayal in '47; yet 71 was just duty, not poetic justice.
J.S. Aurora
He came with the deathly 'Karachi Cologne' on him; joined Edwina's rescue team.
From UP's Azamgarh, he called democratic polls after Zia's death; yet retains a sense of dissatisfaction
Fundamentalist by 'birth, instinct, training', his aggressive motto is 'Next year, Lahore'.
They've come very far from the gutter that life threw them into; but his mother still calls Delhiites 'Hindustanis'.
Angry with a dream gone sour, Pakistan's 'Father Teresa' is still fired with optimism.
He hoped for a Lahore, India, address. And fled only when history dictated otherwise.
Though relieved to leave Lahore, she missed its life of the mind. Delhi was a village.
Now head of state, in 1947 he was one among the dispossessed millions.
At 11, torn from his family, he fled East Bengal with Rs 30, borrowed from a Muslim retainer
Special Issue: Partition
These are the stories of women, children, everyman; of the pain and trauma of being uprooted--an account of our holocaust
Sunil Mehra, Arshad Mahmud, Azhar Abbas, Mazhar Zaidi, Pritha Sen
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