IT was an act which divided a nation and set loose a tide of sectarian hatred and violence which cost the lives of a million people and turned many more into refugees.

In August 1947 British rule in India came to an end and the vast continent was partitioned into two separate states, Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan.

Now the hidden stories of those who came to Scotland after being caught up in the turmoil as children and young people have finally been told 70 years after the days of bloodshed came to an end.

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Presenters Sanjeev Kohli, a Sikh, and and Muslim Aasmah Mir have shone a light on the stories of the turmoil lived through by elders from their own communities, beginning with their fathers who lived on opposite sides of the line of Partition in a documentary to be broadcast on BBC2 tomorrow.

Ms Mir, whose father Arif lived through the events first hand, said that it was important the Scottish Indian and Pakistani diaspora's stories were finally told.

The broadcaster, who worked a programme exploring the 50th anniversary of Partition in 1997, said: "It was very important to have something about people in Scotland. The people featured in the documentary just do not get asked about their pasts because it is always looked at from a UK point of view.

"People in Scotland would not get interviewed before. The story of Partition is not a Scottish one, but it is the story of people who came here and it is part of their past.

"These people are our neighbours and our friends and co-workers.They are people living all over Scotland."

In the documentary her father tells how he spent a night of terror when unrest between the Muslim and Hindu communities broke out in his home town of Raiwind, on the Pakistani side of the new border.

Mr Mir said: "We were scared, but I think we were also naive. We did not know what was in store. Lets say that Raiwind had been in India - we would have been slaughtered, because we were on our own. The police never came to help.

"Our servants told us 'The Sikhs are coming', and we said 'what do we do know'? They advised us to go and hide in the cotton factory."
"It was a matter of life and death", said Mr Mir.

Jaidev Kumar, an 85-year living South Lanarkshire, who fled Pakistan for India before coming to Scotland, told how he survived a massacre carried out by the Pakistani army.

He said: "We thought that they were here to protect us, but at night they started shooting and killing all Hindus. I was there, and beside me were four of five bodies.

"What I did was that I went into the bodies, pretending that I was dead, lying down. So they came [to check] if there was any life in there and search my pockets if there is any money in there.

"This happened for about four to five hours, shooting and shooting like this."

Ms Mir said wider Scotland may have been quicker to accept new immigrant communities if their experiences had been wider known.

Speaking of the discrimination some newly arrived families faced, she said : "If people knew what they went through and understood what happened, would they still have done  it?

"The stuff that happened in the 1970s and 80s - the pushing, the shoving, the shit through the letterboxes ... that happened to a lot of people, and some people had it much worse.

"But they had been through so much as children, so when they came here and had to deal with that sort of stuff it made them more resilient.

"When you have lost your whole family and had to flee for your life, the attitudes they faced here would not have phased them so much."

*Partition: Legacy of the Line is on BBC2 on Sunday at 9pm.