Voices telling the story and experiences of survivors and families from Huddersfield who experienced the partition of India 70 years ago made a fitting backdrop to a service to mark Pakistan’s independence celebrated in Huddersfield Parish Church on Monday.
Organised by the Asian Christian Community, led by Huddersfield businessman and a lay canon at Wakefield Cathedral, Yaqub Masih, it was attended by the Pakistani Consul General from Bradford and other civic and religious leaders from across the diocese.
The Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd Tony Robinson gave opening prayers and the Bishop of Huddersfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gibbs gave the address.
In it Bishop Jonathan said: “The founding of a new nation is a great event in the history of the world and its peoples. As St Paul said in our Bible reading, nations and the authorities which govern them are one of the ways in which God has provided for the good ordering of human life, for the sake of all the peoples of the earth.
“The founding of the state of Pakistan represented a new beginning for its peoples, following the gaining of independence seventy years ago. Of course, we must acknowledge the upheaval and even tragedy that this process brought to millions of people across the new nations of India and Pakistan, but at the same time these were part of the birth-pangs of a new order that was coming into being across the world, with the ending of British and European colonial rule in many places.”
He went on to talk about the challenge that comes when loyalty to God is at odds with the demands of the state…and how this is particularly relevant to what is going on in the world today.
Read his address in full here……. http://www.leeds.anglican.org/content/bishop-jonathans-address-celebration-70th-anniversary-partition
The vicar of Huddersfield, the Revd Canon Simon Moor said it was fitting to hold the service here at this time as a new exhibition telling the stories of paritition had just gone on display in the church.
Drawing the line by Mandeep Samra is a mobile sound installation consisting of a vintage-style gramophone with the voices of Huddersfield’s partition survivors and their families’ experiences and narratives.
The installation has been inspired by #TheWhiteLine heritage project developed by #LetsGoYorkshire.
Thanks to the following people who were interviewed for #TheWhiteLine project: Gindi Sarai, Tarsem Singh Kang, Kartar Singh Kathuria, Hardev Singh, Sajida Ismail, Hanif Asda, Hanifa Aslam and Jamal Akhtar.
If you know anyone living in Huddersfield who has any memory of partition and is interested in sharing their journey then please get in touch: Letsgoyorks [at] yahoo.com
Drawing the Line is in church until 12th September.