August 14 to be observed as Horrors Remembrance Day, says PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday tweeted that August 14 would now be observed as “Partition Horrors Remembrance Day”, stressing that the misery suffered during the 1947 partition of the country can never be forgotten.
#PartitionHorrorsRemembranceDay का यह दिन हमें भेदभाव, वैमनस्य और दुर्भावना के जहर को खत्म करने के लिए न केवल प्रेरित करेगा, बल्कि इससे एकता, सामाजिक सद्भाव और मानवीय संवेदनाएं भी मजबूत होंगी।— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 14, 2021
August 14 being Pakistan’s Independence Day, many saw Modi’s announcement as politically and ideologically loaded, timed with the preparations for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls next year.
“Partition’s pains can never be forgotten. Millions of our sisters and brothers were displaced and many lost their lives due to mindless hate and violence,” Modi tweeted. “In memory of the struggles and sacrifices of our people, 14th August will be observed as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day.”
Modi added: “May the #PartitionHorrorsRemebranceDay keep reminding us of the need to remove the poison of social divisions, disharmony and further strengthen the spirit of oneness, social harmony and human empowerment.”
May the #PartitionHorrorsRemembranceDay keep reminding us of the need to remove the poison of social divisions, disharmony and further strengthen the spirit of oneness, social harmony and human empowerment.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 14, 2021
Some, however, alleged that the Prime Minister’s statement was aimed at reopening old wounds and polarising people.
“This is vile! It is not about remembering people who lost families to the partition, this is done to open wounds and create communal hatred,” musician, author and activist T.M. Krishna tweeted.
RJD leader Manoj Jha questioned the wisdom of the announcement and asked Modi to focus on removing poverty and divisiveness. “I don’t know who advised the Prime Minister to observe the remembrance day of Partition. India has suffered the agony of Partition, but its character and fabric were kept entirely different from Pakistan,” Jha said.
“Our foundation is the Constitution and the Prime Minister should focus on the key objectives of poverty removal and ending communal divide. It is his responsibility to address the growing chasm between communities. He is not concerned about this at all.”
Sometime after Modi’s tweets, the home ministry issued a notification that said: “Therefore, the Government of India declares 14th August as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day to remind the present and future generations of Indians of the pain and suffering faced by the people of India during the partition.”