In the great Amar Chitra Katha of the national imagination, Partition is an archetypal tale of tragic heroes and scheming villains, men who make sacrifices and others who betray. In this story, Partition was a cataclysm visited upon the course of India's destined history—those who brought it about were always others, conspiring leaders and impassioned mobs, who together diverted us from our path to freedom. The responsibility for Partition did not lie with us, but with them.
Perhaps, our infant republic needed such tales to fortify itself. But now, almost 60 years on, we need a clearer-headed understanding; and, above all, we need to take responsibility for our past, wherever called for. Not least, because if we want to change our future relations with our neighbours, we need to start by changing some of the stories we tell about our past.