David Gilmour

Problems of Partition

The Shadow of the Great Game: The Untold Story of India’s Partition

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Constable & Robinson 432pp £20 order from our bookshop

Shameful Flight: The Last Years of the British Empire in India

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Oxford University Press 231pp £xx order from our bookshop

Some years ago I went to a dinner in Lucknow where everyone present was a Hindu refugee, or refugee’s child, from Lahore. A week later I had a similar evening in Lahore where everyone was a Muslim refugee from Lucknow. It was difficult to believe that at these events I was meeting enemies, citizens of hostile states that had fought several wars and were about to fight once more in Kashmir. The guests had no animosity towards their supposed foes across the border, and indeed, so similar were the two sets in cultural and conversational ways, they could have mingled happily at each other’s parties. The only difference was that I was offered Indian whisky in Lucknow and mango juice in Lahore.

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