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Anita and Me. By Meera Syal. Anita and Me. Is Meera Syal’s first novel Was made into a film in 2002, in which she starred. Meera Syal. Is an actress, writer and novelist with a number of TV, theatre and film credits.

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anita and me

Anita and Me

By MeeraSyal

anita and me1
Anita and Me
  • Is MeeraSyal’s first novel
  • Was made into a film in 2002, in which she starred.
meera syal
  • Is an actress, writer and novelist with a number of TV, theatre and film credits.
  • She has written for and appeared in two BBC hit comedies – The Real McCoy and Goodness Gracious Me.
  • She played the lead in the short film It’s Not Unusual.
anita and me2
Anita and Me
  • Things you need to know before reading the book...
  • This is a story about growing up in Britain in the sixties and seventies – a childhood caught between two cultures, each on the brink of change.
anita and me3
Anita and Me
  • It’s 1972
  • Meena is 9 years old
  • She lives in the village of Tollington (a fictional ex-mining village outside Birmingham) in the black country.
  • The Black Country is a loosely defined area of the English West Midlands, to the north and west of Birmingham, and to the south and east of Wolverhampton. By the late 19th century, this area had become one of the most intensely industrialised in the nation.
anita and me4
Anita and Me
  • She is the daughter of Indian parents who have come to England to give her a better life.
  • Anita Rutter is a girl that lives near Meena.
  • Anita is blonde, cool, aloof and naughty.
  • Meena really wants to be like Anita.
the partition of india
The Partition of India
  • British involvement in India began in the 18th century.
  • In 1857, Britain placed India under its direct control.
  • After the Second World War, it was clear that Britain could no longer maintain its control over India.
  • Some people in India wanted a separate Muslim state.
  • In June 1947, it was agreed that Pakistan would be formed out of the majority Muslims areas, and India out of the majority Hindu areas. This was called the Partition of India.
the partition of india1
The Partition of India
  • The large provinces of Punjab and Bengal would be divided.
  • The Sikh community, which lived mainly in the Punjab, had to choose between the two nations.
  • Massive population movements happened after the Partition, accompanied by outbreaks of violence.
  • Nearly 15 million people moved to areas that they believed would be safe based on the religious majority.
the partition of india2
The Partition of India
  • All communities suffered violence.
  • It is estimated up to a million people were killed during the Partition.
  • For many people, particularly those from the Punjab, the social and economic disruption caused by the Partition drove them to leave for Britain. Some had family who served in the British Army and for others, earlier patterns of migration meant that they had relatives already living in Britain.

In 1947, the border between India and its new neighbour Pakistan became a river of blood, as the exodus erupted into rioting.


Millions left for their promised new homeland with smiles on their faces as trains left both India and Pakistan. This is a train to Pakistan being given a warm send-off.


Over 15 million people were uprooted from their homeland and travelled on foot, bullock carts and trains to their promised new home.


An aged and abandoned Muslim couple and their grand children sitting by the roadside on this arduous journey.


In a couple of months in the summer of 1947, a million people were slaughtered on both sides in the religious rioting. Here, bodies of the victims of rioting are picked up from a city street.


The massive exchange of population that took place in the summer of 1947 was unprecedented. It left behind a trail of death and destruction. The Indian map was slashed to make way for a new country - Pakistan.


"The street was short and narrow. Lying like the garbage across the street and in its open gutters were bodies of the dead," writes Bourke-White's biographer Vicki Goldberg of this scene.


With the tragic legacy of an uncertain future, a young refugee sits on the walls of PuranaQila, transformed into a vast refugee camp in Delhi.


Men, women and children who died in the rioting were cremated on a mass scale. Villagers even used oil and kerosene when wood was scarce.