Partition Voices: Untold British Stories by Kavita Puri

Editor | Politics

Dotted across homes in Britain are people who were witnesses to one of the most tumultuous events of the twentieth century. Yet their memory of India’s partition has been shrouded in silence. Kavita Puri’s father was twelve when he found himself one of the millions of Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims caught up in the devastating aftermath of a hastily drawn border. For seventy years he remained silent – like so many – about the horrors he had seen.
When her father finally spoke out, opening up a forgotten part of Puri’s family history, she was compelled to seek out the stories of South Asians who were once subjects of the British Raj, and are now British citizens. Determined to preserve these accounts – of the end of Empire and the difficult birth of two nations – Puri records a series of remarkable first-hand testimonies, revealing partition’s enduring legacy in Britain today. With empathy, nuance and humanity, Puri weaves a breathtaking tapestry of human experience over a period of seven decades that trembles with life; an epic of ruptured families and friendships, extraordinary journeys and daring rescue missions that reverberates with pain, loss and compassion.
The division of the Indian subcontinent happened far away, but it is a very British story. Many of those affected by partition are now part of the fabric of British contemporary life. Partition Voices breaks the silence and confronts the difficult truths at the heart of Britain’s shared history with South Asia.
About the author
Kavita Puri is an award-winning journalist and radio broadcaster. Her landmark three-part series Partition Voices for BBC Radio 4 won the Royal Historical Society’s Radio and Podcast Award and its overall Public History Prize. Her critically-acclaimed Radio 4 series, Three Pounds in My Pocket, charted the migration of South Asians to post-war Britain. She is currently working on the third series. Kavita works as an executive producer in BBC TV Current Affairs where her projects have been recognised by the Royal Television Society and the Foreign Press Association. Prior to this, she worked at Newsnight. She studied Law at Cambridge University.

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