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How a border transformed a subcontinent

This line divided India and Pakistan.

The 1947 partition of India and Pakistan was a traumatic event. It split roads, farms, railroads; but also families and communities. To draw the line that would become the new border, the British tasked Cyril Radcliffe, a lawyer who had never been to the region before.

Radcliffe’s line separated the Punjab and Bengal provinces from India into East and West Pakistan. In doing so it separated Muslims and Hindus, but Sikhs and people from other faiths were affected as well. The border disrupted a centuries-old Sikh pilgrimage. It separated Punjabi people of all faiths from each other. And ultimately, it divided a culture.

This is the latest episode of Borders, a series from Vox’s Johnny Harris in which he travels the globe to listen to the people living on the front lines of international relations. In this episode, Harris looks at the ways that the Radcliffe line changed Punjab, and its everlasting effects.

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