Maya Malhotra

Born: 27th January 1937

Agra, India

Date of interview: 7th June 2006

Map showing where Maya Malhotra came from

Did people fear for their lives?

Yeah it was because ... though the, all the demands were met for the Muslims to be given Pakistan to them. And India have never said, even at that time India never said to any Muslim to go and leave India, but, the Pakistan, people or the government or whatever they were encouraging them to do it. They say it is our country. You have to leave it. And though in that area, because before that it is all one country so people were living happily side by side. There might be some areas where one area is mostly predominantly occupied by Muslims, another by Hindu but they worked together, they lived together, they would do business together, and all of a sudden they become enemy. So when they became enemy they were thrown out like anybody who is uprooted from their home, it's not a nice feeling. So that created a lot of chaos at that time. So instead of all that happiness it was bloodshed everywhere. I have very bad memory of that period as well because we were listening all those, on the radio then in my time there were no televisions so mostly radio news but we were listening that the people were fleeing here and there, you see them being made refugees.

And then the next thing I remember of my early childhood was when ... victory Mahatma Gandhi, when Mahatma Gandhi.

And I remember that procession when we went to see that ... although I wasn't old enough to know much, but that crowd of people and so much quietness I could not believe it. I used to read in the storybooks that this thing happens but never believed it until we saw that and that memory is still very, very fresh in my mind, even I'm so old now. [laughs] Seeing the crowd, because there were thousands of people walking on the street behind that day there were no traffic, no transport was allowed at all on the road. And so people walked miles and miles on feet without any complaint.