Born almost two decades after Partition, my first realisation of a composite Punjab, ironically, was through the presence of absences. Behind my grandparents’ house in our village Akalgarh, in district Ludhiana, is a narrow street. To this day it is called Rajputan de Gali (the street of the Rajputs). This is where the influential community of ‘Rajput Muslims,’ as they were addressed, lived before Partition. The villagers’ reference to the Maseet Wala Gurdwara (literally the mosque turned gurdwara) is yet another symbol of the once powerful presence of Muslims in Akalgarh.
Ajay Bhardwaj further writes about the need for reconciliation:
In all these years, the same east Punjabi political class has shown little interest in articulating any expression of regret for the killings of Muslims during Partition. As for the idea of a reconciliation which would help recover the self banished as the other in 1947, that has never been part of any political agenda.