It has been 75 years since India declared independence, which meant that India and Pakistan gained their freedom as new independent countries after a long and difficult struggle and subsequently removed all British reign.
To commemorate this anniversary, Dishoom has collaborated with award-winning journalist, broadcaster and author, Kavita Puri for a string of unique events that tie in with her book ‘Partition Voices: Untold British Stories’.
‘75 Years’ will tour across Manchester and Birmingham, bringing feasting and talks, before an evening outside Dishoom King’s Cross, taking place under the West Handyside Canopy, on 15th August, the anniversary of Indian Independence.
In 1947, new democracies were born, people had found their voice and were finally able to determine their own destiny, however, the Indian subcontinent had been partitioned into two independent states. This sparked one of the largest migrations in human history, with millions of Muslims travelling to West and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), whilst millions of Hindus and Sikhs moved in the opposite direction.
It is said that at least 10 million people made these life-changing journeys, which, in turn, saw unimaginable violence accompany their movements, resulting in up to a million people losing their lives.
‘Partition Voices’ by Kavita Puri uncovers testimonies of those who experienced these events first-hand, resulting in an eye-opening and timely account of a period of sub-continental history that has shaped modern Britain.
Dishoom co-founder Shamil Thakrar met Kavita Puri in 2020 at Cheltenham Literature Festival where they sparked the idea for the ‘75 Years’ series of events, as a way to explore the partition through both South Asian and British history.
The intimate evening event will take place next Monday, and will hear speakers share their stories inside the restaurant to an intimate audience before questions are opened up to the floor.
This will then be followed by live performances by renowned musician Soumik Datta and a carefully curated Dishoom menu by chef, Naved Nasir. Guests will be invited to break bread over a spread of café classics including: Pau Bhaji, Chicken Ruby, Jackfruit Biryani, House Black Daal, breads, salads and puddings.
Confirmed to speak at the Manchester event is Binita Kane and her father, Bim. Binita is a full time respiratory consultant and co-founder of South Asian Heritage Month, as well as a carer of her father. In 2017 Binita appeared on the TV documentary ‘My Family, Partition and Me’ and was the first member of her family to return to Bangladesh where her father was born and fled from.
Tickets to ‘75 Years’ are available for £50 per person via the link below.