51 Extremely Rare Photos Tell Visual Story of the Horrors of India-Pakistan Partition

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1st Independence Day flaghosting in India1st Independence Day flaghosting in India

15 August is celebrated across India as Independence Day. On this day India gained independence from the British Empire and British imperialists transferred power to Indian hands. But we had to pay huge price of our nation’s freedom as a form of partition. It is also the same time when British Indian Empire was divided into two separate countries along religious lines into the Dominions of India and Pakistan.

The partition was accompanied by violent riots and mass casualties, and the displacement of nearly 15 million people due to sectarian violence. About 1 percent of the world population was uprooted and became refugees due to Partition, millions lost their lives and countless thousands were abandoned or fell prey to human trafficking and sexual violence.

A large evil loomed over the population that was shifting to a new country once the borders were drawn. Religious riots along with acts of oppression and cruelty marked this huge event as a dark blot on the history of the two countries. An entire civilization had gone into unfathomable disarray.

The horror and the magnitude of suffering was unimaginable, but here are a few extremely rare photos of India-Pakistan Partition that depict the dismay of the people who crossed borders and the horrible state it left both the countries in.

A family of Sikh refugees from Lahore.

A family of Sikh refugees from Lahore


A lake of blood and tears.

A lake of blood and tears


A makeshift drip for a makeshift life.

A makeshift drip for a makeshift life


A Man carrying his 5-yr. old son and belongings with balancing pole to escape anti-moslem Sikhs.

A Man carrying his 5-yr. old son and belongings with balancing pole to escape anti-moslem Sikhs


A moslem refugees camp near to Humayun’s Tomb.

A moslem refugees camp near to Humayun's Tomb


A mother lost in thought with an infant on her lap.

A mother lost in thought with an infant on her lap


A room full of tears.

A room full of tears


A Sikh carrying his wife on his shoulders.

A Sikh carrying his wife on his shoulders


A view at Purano Qila fortress with Moslems refugees.

A view at Purano Qila fortress with Moslems refugees


Burdened with life on their shoulders.

Burdened with life on their shoulders


Countless bodies being buried.

Countless bodies being buried


The old man is dying of exhaustion. The caravan has gone on.

The old man is dying of exhaustion. The caravan has gone on


Family partitioned from their son.

Family partitioned from their son


Frontier guards truck checking refugees, those who on their way to Pakistan.

Frontier guards truck checking refugees, those who on their way to Pakistan


Emaciated Indian woman breast feeds her child despite being on the brink of death herself.

Emaciated Indian woman breast feeds her child despite being on the brink of death herself


Journey to a new land.

Journey to a new land


Making do with what they have.

Making do with what they have


Mass migration.

Mass migration


Millions on a journey to restart their lives.

Millions on a journey to restart their lives


Moslems waiting to leave for Pakistan as they seek protected transport to Dot Purana Qila, an ancient fort in Pakistan.

Moslems waiting to leave for Pakistan as they seek protected transport to Dot Purana Qila, an ancient fort in Pakistan


Shelter homes.

Shelter homes


Carrying what’s left of their lives.

Carrying what's left of their lives


Time went on but the tracks ran out.

Time went on but the tracks ran out


Mass migration of families.

Mass migration of families


Wreck carts and belongings Indian refugees who had been camped there before the Beas River flooded.

Wreck carts and belongings Indian refugees who had been camped there before the Beas River flooded


A family migrating to India from Pakistan.

A family migrating to India from Pakistan


Land Resettlement, Indian Punjab.

Land Resettlement, Indian Punjab


Land Resettlement, Indian Punjab.

Land Resettlement, Indian Punjab


Refugees on the move.

Refugees on the move


Bridges were flooded by people.

Bridges were flooded by people


Refugees in refugee camp.

Refugees in refugee camp


Mass migration on train.

Mass migration on train


View from Purana Qila (Old Fortress) refugee camp.

View at Purana Qila (Old Fortress) refugee camp


A view at Purana Qila fortress refugee camp.

A view at Purana Qila fortress refugee camp


An expression that perfectly describes the chaos of the partition.

An expression that perfectly describes the chaos of the partition


View at Purana Qila (Old Fortress) refugee camp.

View at Purana Qila (Old Fortress) refugee camp


Doctors treating Refugees.

Doctors treating Refugees


Sikh family migrating to India.

Sikh family migrating to India


Mass migration into Pakistan.

Mass migration into Pakistan


Punjab Mass migration 1947.

Punjab Mass migration 1947


Massacre at Beas Station.

Massacre at Beas Station


Souls turn to dust as others pass by.

Souls turn to dust as others pass by


The living dead.

The living dead


The North Western Railways carries hopes of millions.

The North Western Railways carries hopes of millions


The other side of life.

The other side of life


The residue of riots plague the streets.

The residue of riots plague the streets


The weak carrying the weaker.

The weak carrying the weaker


Thousands board the Uncertainty Express.

Thousands board the Uncertainty Express


Vultures feed off the dead.

Vultures feed off the dead


When life gives up on you.

When life gives up on you


Wreckage left after millions were uprooted.

Wreckage left after millions were uprooted


Almost all of these India-Pakistan partition photographs were taken by famous photographer Margaret Bourke-White.

Margaret Bourke-White

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