Saturday, January 16, 2021
Home News Reports Price of freedom: How Beant Singh, now a rickshaw puller in Meerut, witnessed his...

Price of freedom: How Beant Singh, now a rickshaw puller in Meerut, witnessed his mother and brother burn during partition in Rawalpindi

The 84-year-old rickshaw puller of Meerut was born in Kashmir, during the reign of Raja Hari Singh, on January 26, 1936. However, his family had to migrate to soon migrate to Rawalpindi owing to economic challenges and persecution of Sikhs at the hands of Islamists.

While India celebrates the 74th Independence Day, a generation of young Indians has forgotten the story of partition and the price of freedom. For Beant Singh, the horrors of partition are still afresh in his mind.

The 84-year-old rickshaw puller of Meerut was born in Kashmir, during the reign of Raja Hari Singh, on January 26, 1936. However, his family had to migrate to soon migrate to Rawalpindi owing to economic challenges and persecution of Sikhs at the hands of Islamists. In the wake of the bloodied partition of 1947, Singh was not only left homeless but also orphaned.

11 years old then, Singh saw his mother and brother burn to death. However, he was fortunate enough to escape the bloodied ordeal of his family. He remembered how a military personnel put him on a train, enroute to Amritsar, which was meant for refugees from Pakistan. An orphaned Singh thus lived through the tragedy of loss and separation to start a new life in ‘independent India’.

Started new life as a rickshaw puller in Meerut

Reminiscing the forgotten days of 1947, Singh said that Delhi was overcrowded with refugees from Pakistan who were scavenging for new means of livelihood in India. Since it was difficult to find work in India’s capital city, he made a conscious decision to shift to Meerut. He was however fortunate to meet his old classmates from Rawalpindi who had migrated to Uttar Pradesh, prior to the partition. According to Singh, they helped him with food, shelter, and purchasing a rickshaw.

Singh has no idea whether his family survived

Since he was underage and did not have a licence, he could only drive at night. “If I had not found that rickshaw, I would probably have not made it,” Singh was quoted as saying. The 84-year-old today survives on his hard-earned savings as a rickshaw puller in Meerut. He also lives in the same house that has sheltered him for decades. Singh has no memory of the whereabouts of his family and whether they survived during the riots of 1947. He now spends his evenings listening to old records.

Singh on ‘rising hate’ in India

He is one of the few survivors of partition that witnessed 2 million casualties and the displacement of 14 million people. Expressing his deep concerns about the ‘rising hate’ in India, he remarked, “This is not the ‘free’ India that my mother died for. From what I can see, we are still captive to the ghosts of the past. In conclusion, Singh said, “I started my life in the new India alone. Today as we are in yet another ‘New India’, I’m still alone.”

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

NDTV’s Ravish Kumar spreads fake news on paddy procurement by govt: Read full details of letter written by govt of India

PIB Additional Director General sent a letter to NDTV after Ravish Kumar used wrong data to accuse govt of lying about paddy procurement

Ashoka University removes links introducing Nidhi Razdan as Harvard professor, another institute quietly edits website: Details

The Ashoka University has announced that it is withdrawing tweets and posts related to Nidhi Razdan.

Nidhi Razdan Harvard fiasco: Former Director of Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab says the University does not offer journalism courses

Nidhi Razdan revealed that she had fallen for a phishing attack and that Harvard University had not really offered her a job.

Nidhi Razdan got ‘scammed’ into believing that she got a job from Harvard University: Here is what does not make sense in her story

While Nidhi Razdan says that the Harvard job she was offered was fake, last year she had said she is teaching in Harvard

Nidhi Razdan was scammed into believing she got an offer from the real Harvard University to become a professor of journalism: Details

Nidhi Razdan, formerly with NDTV, has revealed that she was the victim of a phishing attack and Harvard never came calling.

Pakistan aircraft PIA Boeing 777 seized by authorities, passengers stranded: Read why Malaysia acted against PIA

Malaysian authorities seized a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Boeing-777 at the Kuala Lumpur Airport.

Recently Popular

Twitter run-chase: Anti-Modi Indians vote for Imran Khan in ICC Twitter poll to make Virat Kohli lose

On Tuesday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) ran a poll to decide who is the best cricketer as a captain. The ICC poll included three legendary players and a Pakistani cricketer in the poll.

Vanishing barons: Alibaba founder Jack Ma and 4 other Chinese billionaires who had mysteriously gone missing

Several prominent elites from China who had ran afoul with the CCP had mysteriously disappeared from the public eye, including Jack Ma

Nidhi Razdan was scammed into believing she got an offer from the real Harvard University to become a professor of journalism: Details

Nidhi Razdan, formerly with NDTV, has revealed that she was the victim of a phishing attack and Harvard never came calling.

The Nidhi Razdan Harvard fiasco: A user had sounded off the alarms as early as September 2020

Nidhi Razdan revealed on Friday that she fell victim to a phishing scam and confirmed that she was never offered a job by Harvard.

NCERT says it has no information on source of claim made in textbook that Mughals had rebuilt temples after destroying them

NCERT History textbook says that Shahjahan and Aurangzeb have issued grants for rebuilding temples destroyed in war

From ‘no trust on BJP’s vaccine’ to ‘impotency’ to ‘they can cause death’, Samajwadi Party’s petty politics over COVID-19 vaccine just does not end

Samajwadi Party has been continuously trying to create an atmosphere of panic by spreading fake news about Covid-19 vaccine

NDTV’s Ravish Kumar spreads fake news on paddy procurement by govt: Read full details of letter written by govt of India

PIB Additional Director General sent a letter to NDTV after Ravish Kumar used wrong data to accuse govt of lying about paddy procurement

Ashoka University removes links introducing Nidhi Razdan as Harvard professor, another institute quietly edits website: Details

The Ashoka University has announced that it is withdrawing tweets and posts related to Nidhi Razdan.

Nidhi Razdan Harvard fiasco: Former Director of Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab says the University does not offer journalism courses

Nidhi Razdan revealed that she had fallen for a phishing attack and that Harvard University had not really offered her a job.

Fresh wave of coronavirus cases reported in Hebei province, massive quarantine centres being built by Chinese govt

China has transferred more than 20 thousand people to these makeshift centres at Shijiazhuang in Hebei province after fresh cases emerged in the North China province.

Nidhi Razdan got ‘scammed’ into believing that she got a job from Harvard University: Here is what does not make sense in her story

While Nidhi Razdan says that the Harvard job she was offered was fake, last year she had said she is teaching in Harvard

Rajasthan: SDM was seeking bribe during meeting where CM Gehlot spoke against corruption, arrested

SDM Pinky Meena, and SDM Pushkar Mittal, along with the agent of a former SP have been arrested for taking bribes over a national highway project.

‘Tit for Tat’, ‘Work of Art’: Netizens react to the Nidhi Razdan Harvard fiasco, question her logic

Netizens have been commenting on the Nidhi Razdan Harvard fiasco and pointed out the incredulousness of the whole situation.

Puja Bharti murder case from Ranchi: Facebook account of victim deleted, BJP questions police inaction

The BJP has warned that it will hit the streets to protest in case the culprits are not arrested soon.

The Nidhi Razdan Harvard fiasco: A user had sounded off the alarms as early as September 2020

Nidhi Razdan revealed on Friday that she fell victim to a phishing scam and confirmed that she was never offered a job by Harvard.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
496,912FollowersFollow
22,700SubscribersSubscribe