Oral History Interviews [sound recordings]

Scope and Content

Oral history interviews about the Partition of India. The interviews were recorded by the broadcaster Andrew Whitehead for the BBC World Service series 'India: A People Partitioned' (1997; 2000); BBC Radio 4 programme 'An Incident in Kashmir' (2003); and Whitehead's book, 'A Mission in Kashmir' (Viking Penguin, 2007). Interviewees include: political activists, survivors of violence; refugees; soliders; relief workers; and leading cultural and political figures. Subjects discussed include: Indian communist movement and the Left; political and communal violence; forced migration; the experiences of women; Kashmir and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947; India-Pakistan relations; and views on the role of politicians and political organisations during Partition.


Oral history interviews arranged into eighteen sub-series reflecting the chronological order and geographical location in which interviews were recorded by Andrew Whitehead. An initial deposit of sixteen sub-series comprises: interviews about Partition and the Left; interviews in Pakistan; Delhi & Luknow; at the India-Pakistan border; Delhi & Mumbai; Karachi; Delhi; Indian-controlled Kashmir; Delhi; Punjab, India; Uttar Pradesh; Delhi; Pakistan; Bangladesh; Calcutta; and Delhi. There are two additional sub-series of interviews deposited at later dates: interviews about Partition and India-Pakistan Relations and interviews about Kashmir and the Indo-Pakistan War of 1947.

Access Information

MP3 audio files can be accessed on DVD-Rs in Special Collections Reading Room, SOAS Library. Users must bring their own headphones and computer to consult material.



"In all cases, those interviewed knew that their words were likely to be in the public domain. There was no concealed recording and no concealed purpose. Some interviews were conducted on my behalf by colleagues, and I would like to acknowledge their kindness and professionalism. In all such cases, the name of the interviewer is included", Andrew Whitehead, 1998.

Archivist's Note


Conditions Governing Use

The recordings are available for consultation without restriction, and short extracts (up to 200 words) can be published with an appropriate acknowledgement. Any publication of longer extracts or use of interviews for broadcast requires the prior written permission of Andrew Whitehead.

Copyright held by Andrew Whitehead

Related Material

Transcripts, partial transcripts and summaries of these interviews are available at SOAS Library. Reference: OA3/02/01

Location of Originals

MP3 audio datafiles digitised from original recording on cassette tapes.