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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Comments (4)
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  • joe o'connell says:

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

  • Onklo ENG says:

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

  • 1947 Partition Archive says:

    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 ( 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:

  • Arvind Bhatt says:

    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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