Monday, March 3, 2008

History Lesson

Sitting in Econ class, I felt my heart beat faster. Discussing the economic history of India, my Indian classmates spoke about the Independence movement. As they spoke about Nehru, it was easy to see the emotions on their face. Discussing the 1950's and the caste system, the classroom quickly became embroiled in a debate.

Although I've been to Pakistan only a few times in my life, I felt myself feeling sensitive. It wasn't my personal history, but the Indian-Pakistani separation is an integral part of my family's history. Hearing the students debate colonization, I began to imagine my grandparents migrating, joining the millions who walked miles to get to Pakistan.

My parents would have been young children. A baby, my mother would have strapped to my grandmother's back in make-shift cloth sling. My toddler father probably walked hand in hand with his older brother. These were people I loved, whose blood flows through my veins.

If I felt goosebumps during a simple economic discussion, I can't imagine what other grandchildren feel when people discuss segregation, slavery, apartheid, genocide, holocaust, or other troubling periods of human history.

No comments: