Updated on: Saturday, August 14, 2021, 03:15 PM IST

Partition Horrors Remembrance Day: Here are 10 books you must read about the event that altered India's history

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced that August 14th will be observed as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day | Twitter/@KanchanGupta

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced that August 14th will be observed as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day | Twitter/@KanchanGupta


The partition era in 1947 is termed as one of the darkest periods in the history of India as it entirely changed the country's identity. Thousands were displaced and countless others lost their lives to the event. The communal tensions sparked during the era remain prevalent to this day

The religious riots resulted in mass murders, rapes, loot and other harrowing events which have had a lasting effect on Indian society.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced that August 14th will be observed as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day in memory of the struggles and sacrifices that people from our country made for Independence.

In light of this, we have compiled a list of books which recount the horrors of the partition, the lessons learned from it, and how the event shaped Indian society into its current form.

Midnight's Children

Midnight's Children is a 1981 novel by author Salman Rushdie which portrays India's transition from British colonial rule to independence and the partition of India.

The protagonist of the story- Saleem Sinai is born at the exact moment when India gained independence. He soon realizes that he's gifted with telepathic powers and discovers that all children born around that time have supernatural powers as well.

Midnight’s Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India’s Partition

The book by Nisid Hajari chronicles the partition of India like no other. It potrays how decisions by leaders were responsible for the partition and the riots and violence that followed.

The books' unique take on the partition made it the 2016 recipient of the Colby Award.

Sunlight On A Broken Column

Sunlight on a Broken Column, a novel by Attia Hosain, revolves around the life of a fifteen-year-old orphaned girl from Lucknow who belongs to a rich Muslim family

The girl, Laila, is seen to be fighting for her own independence from the confines of traditional life, in the backdrop of India's independence movement.


The book by Bhisham Sahni is a gripping account of the Hindu Muslim riots that took place during the partition. The author himself saw the riots take place, and hence elucidates the events in great detail.

The story explores the transition of peace-loving villagers into communal fanatics and the disintegration of society from cooperation to chaos.

The Broken Mirror

The Broken Mirror by Krishna Baldev Vaid revolves around the life of Beero and his group of friends. The novel is set against the backdrop of an impending partition.

The motley group are seen to be immature and naive which is characteristic for their age group, however, the partition transforms them into mature, rational human beings.

Unbordered Memories

The book by Rita Kothari is a collection of narratives from both sides of the border. The partition affected Sindhi Muslims and Sindhi Hindus equally, however, the latter have often been overlooked.

Several accounts in the volume testify to the solidarity both the communities experience with each other, primarily because no one else is likely to understand their sorrow like they themselves can.

Train to Pakistan

The novel, written by Khushwant Singh is one of the most popular books about India's partition.

Based in the fictional village of Mano Majra, which is situated on the border of India and Pakistan, the novel explores the challenges communities faced during the partition.

The book focuses mainly on the human dimension without diving deep into politics which makes it all the more believable.

Making Peace With Partition

The separation of the Indian subcontinent has left a deep rift between India and Pakistan. In the novel, the author Radha Kumar explores the country's tumultuous history and explores the obstacles and opportunities the future presents.

Clear Light of Day

The novel is an account of the challenges an Indian family face post-partition. It was published in 1980 by Indian novelist and three-time Booker Prize finalist Anita Desai.

Train to India: Memories of Another Bengal

The novel revolves around the life of a young boy, Maloy Krishna Dhar, who along with his mother made the precarious journey to India from East Pakistan. The book provides a harrowing account of events in Bengal during the partition.

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Published on: Saturday, August 14, 2021, 02:51 PM IST