Margaret Bourke-White Great Migration, India

Price $8,000

Ref.# 14264

Medium Silver print

Mount unmounted

Photo Date 1947  Print Date 1947

Dimensions 14-1/2 x 21-1/2 in. (368 x 546 mm)

Photo Country India

Photographer Country United States (USA)

Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith


Phone +1-215-822-5662

Contemporary Works / Vintage Works, Ltd.

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About This Image

Photographer's LIFE stamp on verso. Used LIFE stamps Nov. 3, 1947 pp 120-121 for the story, The Great Migration, Five million Indians flee for their lives. LIFE Set # 24735.

Emigrant trains of Sikh's, India. The caption in LIFE where this image ran as a double spread reads: The Emigrant Trains of crude wooden carts drawn by bullocks creak across the barren land of the Punjab all day long. In this convoy, starkly silhouetted against the vivid Indian sky, are 45,000 uprooted Sikhs on their way to the Ferozepore and Ludhiana districts of the eastern Punjab. Unlike the U.S. wagon-train pioneers, hopefully en route to a new land, these migrants have little to look forward to and are losing everything that they cannot carry with them. Despite the presence of an escort of Gurkha soldiers, thousands of stinking bodies along the road constantly remind the travelers that they may never reach safety."

What has been called history's greatest mass migration was the result of Great Britain granting independence to India and Pakistan and the subsequent partition of the Punjab and Bengal provinces which led to a Moslem Pakistan and predominantly Hindu India. The ensuing blood shed across the region with fighting among Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs prompted Gandhi, in despair over the violence, to begin a fast to persuade all Indians to stop fighting. While this had a positive effect on the people, less than two weeks later Gandhi was assassinated.

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Photo Detail | Margaret Bourke-White - Great Migration, India