Saturday, July 28, 2012

Vintage Pictures

Divided nation, divided books

The Partition of India by the British in August 1947 did more than create the two sovereign nations of India and Pakistan, displace millions of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs on either side of the newly-drawn border, and result in one of the world's largest refugee crisis leading to violence and slaughter by people who once lived together. It also divided the libraries in the new dominions. In the above photograph, published by Life magazine on August 18, 1947, a curator at the Imperial Secretariat Library (now Central Secretariat Library) in Calcutta, West Bengal, tries to divide some 1.50 lakh books into equal parts for each of the two countries.


  1. the legacy of interference. When will people learn? Probably never. Sigh.

    1. Sixty-five years after her independence, India continues to ban books to please political lackeys and the parties they represent.