25th May 2017
One of the first events of the Grand Trunk Project was a panel discussion at Kings College, kicking off a season of events themed around 1947.
This event was hosted by Dr Deesha Chadha an integral member of The Grand Trunk steering group, she shares her thoughts on the event.
The partition of India is such an important event in the lives of many and with 2017 being the 70th year anniversary of the partition of India there is expectedly more interest than usual. There were those who lived through Partition, yet their descendants while being aware of the events know very little. It is because of this that we were determined on hosting an event at King’s College London which provided an appetizer for what was to come. The event preceded our launch event of the Grand Trunk Project and consisted of a panel discussion and a photo exhibition prepared by students on integration. Our select panel of speakers was made up by: Mrs Sudha Bhuchar, Mr Zain Haider Awan, Canon Michael Roden and Professor Ian Talbot. The discussion was expertly chaired by Mr Bhavit Mehta who opened with a somewhat contentious question as to whether we should ‘commemorate’ such an occasion and what that means to each of us. Throughout the course of the discussion not only did we get to hear about the significant work each of our speakers, but also of their tremendous commitment in commemorating (yes, I will use the word) the partition. We also touched upon what the event means to the South Asian community and indeed the world at large as it is always our history that determines our present and predicts our future. Tea was getting cold and therefore the discussion had to draw to a somewhat premature close, but the audience seemed to revel in the opportunity to network, socialise and really explore how they, their families and friends were affected by the consequences of fateful lines being drawn in the sand. We hope that the event served as a suitable platform for communities to begin reflecting on how we all might start healing and collectively, compassionately move forward. We hope that the event served as a beginning towards reconciliation.