Of course I never did divide the subcontinent. I am a very pacifist person and much more interested in peace than in divisions. Still it happened yesterday, that a person on the Express Tribune facebook page accused me of dividing the subcontinent. Her historical knowledge seems a bit flawed as she went on to state that Russia occupied the UK for roughly fifty years (which was surprisingly never mentioned in all the time of my studies of Anglophone Literature and Culture at uni ;-). However, I had a bit of a think and came up with the this little story of how the division of the subcontinent might have occurred, had I been involved. Hope you enjoy reading 🙂
Yes, I remember that day very clearly when I divided the Subcontinent. I was sitting in this Postcolonial Studies seminar at uni and was fed up with some student who was clearly planning to be a teacher, but not one of the inspiring ones but one those who asks the professors why we are studying things in such great detail when she won’t be able to teach it this way in school anyways. I made a mental note not to send my future children to the school where she would be teaching, when I spotted Martin and the doc in the door winking at me. The DeLorean was already waiting outside and I was in the mood for time travel. We decided to see how my dad was doing 2 years after the war and so travelled to the summer of 1947. When we arrived in the small village, we didn’t take long to find the 7 year old and his mother. They were so absent minded that it was easy enough for the three of us to sneak into the house. But even though it was dinner time, my dad’s father was nowhere to be seen. A police man came around to check on them and we learned that the had hung himself in the cellar of the same apartment building, because he couldn’t live with the images of the burning city nearby that he had had to observe two years earlier. Even though Germany was already defeated the British and American troops more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices on the city. People were jumping into the river, where they continued to burn. At that time the war time alliance between the UK / US and France with Russia was already broken and it was clear that Russia was going to occupy the Eastern part of Germany. Thus, the allies thought they could make good use of their leftover bombs by dropping them onto Dresden. Of course I knew about this incident already from reading ‘Slaughterhouse 5’ by Kurt Vonnegut in my American Literature seminar, but seeing my dad grief made me so furious that I jumped into the DeLorean and furiously pressed the time setter. Everything went so fast, that Martin and the doc were still outside when the doors of the time machine closed and I was whizzed to the Indian subcontinent where it was still roughly the same time. Through the window of a building I saw Cyril Radcliffe discuss with someone how he would travel the country for the next two weeks in order to be able to draw legitimate borders between India and Pakistan. He wanted to put real effort into the endeavour so that there would be no problems between people later on, that could be blamed on the British colonisers. Not if I had it my way; after they had destroyed Desden and my family’s happiness the Brits would not get out of Asia with clean hands. This was my chance to pay back to the British what they had done to my family. After Cyril had set off the next day, I kidnapped the British lawyer and locked him up in the DeLorean with ample supply of fresh air, food and drink for the next two weeks. I went back into his office, where I took out the map and some rulers and began to draw pretty random borders, splitting Pakistan in two, with one thousand miles in India in between to make it specially hard for the country to develop. After two weeks, I handed the maps over to the authorities, saying that I was Cyril’s secretary and he was ill in bed with a stomachbug, which obviously made everyone not want to have any contact with him. And the rest is history. Yup, really sorry for dividing the subcontinent without ever even speaking to any person there. I was just so furious about the British and American bombing of Dresden and my grandfather’s death. I had no idea what implication my actions would have for millions of people on the subcontinent.