Google’s Moving Ad About 1947 Partition of India & Pakistan Tops 10 Million Views

Recently, Wired writer Steve Silberman (aka @stevesilberman) shot us a note on Twitter, saying, “@openculture, do not miss this brilliant ad. Most touching movie (in 3 mins!) I’ve seen in years.” Released on November 13th, the video has already clocked over 10 million views. But chances are you haven’t seen it. And that’s because it’s targeted to the web-enabled middle class of India and Pakistan. As The Dawn, Pakistan’s oldest English newspaper, describes it, the Google-created ad entitled “Reunion “portrays two childhood friends, now elderly men, who haven’t seen each other since they were separated by the 1947 partition that created India and Pakistan from the old British empire in South Asia. Partition sparked a mass exodus as millions of Muslims and Hindus fled across the new borders amid religious violence.” Now Google search products are helping to bring old friends and neighbors back together.

Cynics may be quick to judge this a saccharine, manipulative ad. But others are seeing in it something else — a sign that “personal connections between Indians and Pakistanis run deep.” Even if their governments gain something from keeping the conflict alive, everyday people in India and Pakistan are increasingly ready to put history aside.

Note: If you click CC at the bottom of the video, you can use captions to translate the film into nine languages, including French, Malayalam and Urdu. It is preset to English.

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  1. joe o'connell says . . . | December 15, 2013 / 12:16 am

    this is a splendid ad, wish more were like this one

  2. Onklo ENG says . . . | December 18, 2013 / 2:53 am

    Why the language is not set for Esperanto ? The UNESCO recommended it since 1954 and many youtube programmes have that.

  3. 1947 Partition Archive says . . . | January 5, 2014 / 10:24 am

    We at ‘The 1947 Partition Archive’ are a people-powered non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving and sharing eye witness accounts from all ethnic, religious and economic communities affected by the partition of British India in 1947 in the form of video (and sometimes audio) testimonies.

    The Archive is funded entirely by individual people from around the world through cash donations as well as pro-bono and volunteer services.
    Support us in our first crowd-funding initiative on IndieGoGo (http://igg.me/at/1947Partition/x/5792161) on till 31 January 2014.

    You can choose from $5 to $10000 to fund various activities ranging from preserving stories to sponsoring Story Scholars.

    As a token of our appreciation, you can get yourself personalized thank you e-notes; Twitter and Facebook shout-outs; subscription to our annual publication, Junction’47; a signed copy of the book, ‘Cracking India’; a private expert session on oral-history collection; exclusive screening of our oral history collection; or, even become one of the founding donors of The 1947 Partition Archive.

    You can also donate, join or support us on: http://www.1947PartitionArchive.org

  4. Arvind Bhatt says . . . | May 15, 2014 / 9:11 am

    Nice Ad but judging by the number of well planned terrorist attacks from Pak side for the past 20 years, Kargil and ’65 war , it appears that India is trying to clap with one hand.
    Reminds me of the old Hindi Bollywood song:

    Toom Hamay Pyaar Karo Yaa
    Naa Karo, Hum Toomay Pyaar Kiyay Jaayange.

    People to People contacts, nice as they appear, are merely platitudes. Only time heals these wounds. Greeks and Armenians have still not reconciled.

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