Tuning in further, to the Fourth Unit of Inquiry - our new unit on ‘Migration’ under the theme – ‘Where we are in place and time’, we had ‘In Conversation’ a guest speaker, Brigadier Jagdish Singh come in on 18th Jan 2017 to share a part his journey of his life with Form 4, at Pathways School Noida.
On a cold, yet crisp winter morning of January 2017, Brigadier Jagdish Singh came in to talk to a very excited Form 4, who were looking forward to listen, to his story on his journey of Migration. It was a different research – A one on one research with Brigadier Singh, where their listening skills were enhanced indeed as there was pin drop silence once his story began…
Keeping in view the Central idea of this Unit - 'People migrate for different'. Reasons with wide ranging effects, it was an apt ‘In Conversation’ with him.
He began talking about what kind of Migration he had to undertake – which was a Political Migration in 1947. He spoke about how based on just a decision by the then British Government a new nation Pakistan was created from India, based on religion.
He then went on to how the migration happened at that time - on foot, train and bullock carts. How they basically had to leave their land, belongings etc. and escape. A sense of history was created and the students reflected on times now and then.
Going further he spoke about how a relative of his, had to hide on a tree for about 8 to 10 days to flee the looting and killing at his village, which that relative could see as he could see his village from the top of the tree. He spoke about the travails, struggles and danger while the migration took place, basically to save their own lives.
Towards the end he spoke about how an Army truck gave them a safe haven to successfully unite with their other family members in India finally. How the Indian Government also helped them to relocate.
During the question answer session after the conversation and a PPT which was shown by him, the students asked pertinent question, like what does a refugee mean, and understood that all migrants are not refugees, accept the ones that are forced to flee their nations and take refuge in another country – so the Civil war in Syria was also touched upon and the current refugee crisis facing Europe.
The students particularly reflected on the sight and plight of the young babies, children, sick and old people who had to flee and migrate, with moments of palpable silence from them.
In conclusion, as Brigadier pointed out that it was a senseless, largest mass migration, the effects of which till today India and Pakistan face. Also bringing to focus that it was an unorganized, motivated decision by the then colonial British government that led to confusion, chaos and hatred, and that how so many lives were lost during this time.
After a warm and emotional conversation, Form 4 bid goodbye to Brigadier Singh, taking a peek into history and came to a consensus, that indeed Brigadier Singh was truly a Risk Taker at the age of 7.