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Remembering Partition: Violence, Nationalism and History in India by Gyanendra Pandey
A Time of Madness: A Memoir of Partition
As a result of this, Salman Rashid’s family fled Jalandhar for Pakistan, the newly created country across the border.They were among the nearly two million people uprooted from their homes in the greatest transmigration in history. Besides those who fled, other members of the family became part of a grimmer statistic: they featured among the more than one million unfortunate souls who paid with their lives for the division of India and creation of Pakistan.After living in the shadow of his family’s tragedy for decades, in 2008, Rashid made the journey back to his ancestral village to uncover the truth. A Time of Madness tells the story of what he discovered with great poignancy and grace. It is a tale of unspeakable brutality but it is also a testament to the uniquely human traits of forgiveness, redemption and the resilience of the human spirit.
The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan
Yasmin Cordery Khan - 2007
Instead, the geographical divide brought displacement and death, and it benefited the few at the expense of the very many. Thousands of women were raped, at least one million people were killed, and ten to fifteen million were forced to leave their homes as refugees. One of the first events of decolonization in the twentieth century, Partition was also one of the most bloody.In this book Yasmin Khan examines the context, execution, and aftermath of Partition, weaving together local politics and ordinary lives with the larger political forces at play. She exposes the widespread obliviousness to what Partition would entail in practice and how it would affect the populace. Drawing together fresh information from an array of sources, Khan underscores the catastrophic human cost and shows why the repercussions of Partition resound even now, some sixty years later. The book is an intelligent and timely analysis of Partition, the haste and recklessness with which it was completed, and the damaging legacy left in its wake.
Rajiv Dogra - 2017
But Britain’s partitioning of Afghanistan will rank asthe greatest crime of the nineteenth century. That arbitrary line which Mortimer Durand drewin 1893 on a small piece of paper continues to bleed Afghanistan and hound the world. Alas,this story remained untold until now.Written in an inimitable style, Durand’s Curse is the result of deep research. Fascinating detailsfrom long-buried archives of history reveal for the first time a tale of intrigue and deceit againstAfghanistan. First the British and then Pakistan had taken away territory that originally belongedto Afghanistan. But the divided Pathan families refuse to accept this division even now and for thelast century and over, there has been a struggle to rub out the cursed line drawn across the sand.Rajiv Dogra brings alive the wars, the tragedies and the Afghan anger against injustice in thisheart-wrenching account of Afghanistan’s misfortunes. This is an absolutely riveting story of theIndian sub-continent's history told by an important writer of our generation.
The Making of Exile: Sindhi Hindus and the Partition of India
Nandita Bhavnani - 2014
The Making of Exile hopes to redress this, by turning a spotlight on the specific narratives of the Sindhi Hindu community. Post-Partition, Sindh was relatively free of the inter-communal violence witnessed in Punjab, Bengal and other parts of north India. Consequently, in the first few months of Pakistan's early life, Sindhi Hindus did not migrate and remained the most significant minority in West Pakistan. Starting with the announcement of the Partition of India, The Making of Exile firmly traces the experiences of the community - that went from being a small but powerful minority to becoming the target of communal discrimination, practiced by both the state as well as sections of Pakistani society. This climate of communal antipathy threw into sharp relief the help and sympathy extended to Sindhi Hindus by other Pakistani Muslims, both Sindhi and muhajir. Finally, it was when they became victims of the Karachi pogrom of January 1948 that Sindhi Hindus felt compelled to migrate to India.The second segment of the book examines the resettlement of the community in India - their first brush with squalid refugee camps, their struggle to make sense of rapidly changing governmental policies and the spirit of determination and enterprise with which they rehabilitated themselves in their new homeland. Yet, not all Sindhi Hindus chose to migrate and the specific challenges of those who stayed on in Sindh, as well as the difficulties faced by Sindhi Muslims after the formation of Pakistan, have been sensitively documented in the final chapters. Weaving in a variety of narratives - diary entries and memoirs, press reportage, letters to editors and, advertisements, legends and poetry, dozens of interviews and a wealth of academic literature - Nandita Bhavnani's The Making of Exile is one of the most comprehensive and multifaceted studies of the Sindhi experience of Partition.
Borders and Boundaries: How Women Experienced the Partition of India
Ritu Menon - 1998
While Partition sounds smooth on paper, the reality was horrific. More than eight million people migrated and one million died in the process. The forced migration, violence between Hindus and Muslims, and mass widowhood were unprecedented and well-documented. What was less obvious but equally real was that millions of people had to realign their identities, uncertain about who they thought they were. The rending of the social and emotional fabric that took place in 1947 is still far from mended.While there are plenty of official accounts of Partition, there are few social histories and no feminist histories. Borders and Boundaries changes that, providing first-hand accounts and memoirs, juxtaposed alongside official government accounts. The authors make women not only visible but central. They explore what country, nation, and religious identity meant for women, and they address the question of the nation-state and the gendering of citizenship. In the largest ever peace-time mass migration of people, violence against women became the norm. Thousands of women committed suicide or were done to death by their own kinsmen. Nearly 100,000 women were "abducted" during the migration. A young woman might have been separated from her family when a convoy was ambushed, abducted by people of another religion, forced to convert, and forced into marriage or cohabitation. After bearing a child, she would be offered the opportunity to return only if she left her child behind and if she could face shame in her natal community. These stories do not paint their subjects as victims. Theirs are the stories of battles over gender, the body, sexuality, and nationalism-stories of women fighting for identity.
Being the Other: The Muslim in India
Saeed Naqvi - 2016
These lines were composed by Mohsin Kakorvi, an Urdu poet, to celebrate not Lord Krishna's birthday but that of the Prophet Muhammad. Awadh, the author's birthplace, was steeped in this exquisite confluence of cultures. Sadly, this glorious tradition has been systematically destroyed over the past century. In many ways, Awadh stood for everything that independent India could have become, a land in which people of different faiths co-existed peacefully and created a culture that drew upon the best that each community had to offer. Instead, what we have today is a pale shadow of the harmony that once existed. Everywhere there are incidents of sectarian murder, communal propaganda and divisive politics. And there seems to be no stopping the forces that are destroying the country. In this remarkable book, which is partly a memoir and partly an exploration of the various deliberate and inadvertent acts that have contributed to the othering of the 180 million Muslims in India, Saeed Naqvi looks at how the divisions between Muslims and Hindus began in the modern era. The British were the first to exploit these divisions between the communities in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In the run-up to Independence, and its immediate aftermath, some of India's greatest leaders including Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel, and others only served to drive the communities further apart. Successive governments, whether formed by the Congress or BJP, compounded the problem by failing to prevent (if not actively supporting) tragic events like communal riots in Gujarat (1969 and 2002), Bombay (1992, 1993), Muzaffarnagar (2013), the breaking of the Babri Masjid (1992) and so on. As a reporter, and editor, Naqvi covered all these events (with the exception of Partition), and in the book he shows us, with acuity and insight, how each of these resulted in the shaping of the discontent of the Muslim in India. Thought-provoking and troubling, Being the Other is essential reading for all those interested in understanding the forces that have shaped contemporary Indian society.
Footprints of Partition: Narratives of Four Generations of Pakistanis and Indians
Anam Zakaria - 2015
Millions displaced, thousands slaughtered, families divided and redefined, as home became alien land and the unknown became home. So much has been said about it but there is still no writer, storyteller or poet who has been able to explain the madness of Partition. Using the oral narratives of four generations of people - mainly Pakistanis but also some Indians - Anam Zakaria, a Pakistani researcher, attempts to understand how the perception of Partition and the 'other' has evolved over the years. Common sense dictates that the bitter memories of Partition would now be forgotten and new relationships would have been forged over the years, but that is not always the case. The memories of Partition have been repackaged through state narratives, and attitudes have only hardened over the years. Post-Partition events - wars, religious extremism, terrorism - have left new imprints on 1947. This book documents the journey of Partition itself - after Partition.
Empires of the Indus: The Story of a River
Alice Albinia - 2008
For millennia it has been worshipped as a god; for centuries used as a tool of imperial expansion; today it is the cement of Pakistans fractious union. Five thousand years ago, a string of sophisticated cities grew and traded on its banks. In the ruins of these elaborate metropolises, Sanskrit-speaking nomads explored the river, extolling its virtues in Indias most ancient text, the Rig-Veda. During the past two thousand years a series of invaders Alexander the Great, Afghan Sultans, the British Raj made conquering the Indus valley their quixotic mission. For the people of the river, meanwhile, the Indus valley became a nodal point on the Silk Road, a centre of Sufi pilgrimage and the birthplace of Sikhism. Empires of the Indus follows the river upstream and back in time, taking the reader on a voyage through two thousand miles of geography and more than five millennia of history redolent with contemporary importance.
Partition: The Story of Indian Independence and the Creation of Pakistan in 1947
Barney White-Spunner - 2017
Those months saw the end of ninety years of the British Raj, and the effective power of the Maharajahs, as the Congress Party established itself commanding a democratic government in Delhi. They also witnessed the rushed creation of Pakistan as a country in two halves whose capitals were two thousand kilometers apart. From September to December 1947 the euphoria surrounding the realization of the dream of independence dissipated into shame and incrimination; nearly 1 million people died and countless more lost their homes and their livelihoods as partition was realized. The events of those months would dictate the history of South Asia for the next seventy years, leading to three wars, countless acts of terrorism, polarization around the Cold War powers and to two nations with millions living in poverty spending disproportionate amounts on their military. The roots of much of the violence in the region today, and worldwide, are in the decisions taken that year. Not only were those decisions controversial but the people who made them were themselves to become some of the most enduring characters of the twentieth century. Gandhi and Nehru enjoyed almost saint like status in India, and still do, whilst Jinnah is lionized in Pakistan. The British cast, from Churchill to Attlee and Mountbatten, find their contribution praised and damned in equal measure. Yet it is not only the national players whose stories fascinate. Many of those ordinary people who witnessed the events of that year are still alive. Although most were, predictably, only children, there are still some in their late eighties and nineties who have a clear recollection of the excitement and the horror. Illustrating the story of 1947 with their experiences and what independence and partition meant to the farmers of the Punjab, those living in Lahore and Calcutta, or what it felt like to be a soldier in a divided and largely passive army, makes the story real. Partition will bring to life this terrible era for the Indian Sub Continent.
The Pity of Partition: Manto's Life, Times, and Work Across the India-Pakistan Divide
Ayesha Jalal - 2013
Today Manto is an acknowledged master of twentieth-century Urdu literature, and his fiction serves as a lens through which the tragedy of partition is brought sharply into focus. In The Pity of Partition, Manto's life and work serve as a prism to capture the human dimension of sectarian conflict in the final decades and immediate aftermath of the British raj.Ayesha Jalal draws on Manto's stories, sketches, and essays, as well as a trove of his private letters, to present an intimate history of partition and its devastating toll. Probing the creative tension between literature and history, she charts a new way of reconnecting the histories of individuals, families, and communities in the throes of cataclysmic change. Jalal brings to life the people, locales, and events that inspired Manto's fiction, which is characterized by an eye for detail, a measure of wit and irreverence, and elements of suspense and surprise. In turn, she mines these writings for fresh insights into everyday cosmopolitanism in Bombay and Lahore, the experience and causes of partition, the postcolonial transition, and the advent of the Cold War in South Asia.The first in-depth look in English at this influential literary figure, The Pity of Partition demonstrates the revelatory power of art in times of great historical rupture.
In The Name Of Democracy: JP Movement and the Emergency
Bipan Chandra - 2003
In this fascinating account, Bipan Chandra traces the events that led up to this moment and makes some startling revelations. He finds that there was a real danger of the JP movement turning fascist, given the fuzzy ideology of Total Revolution, its confused leadership and dependence on the RSS for its organization. At the same time, despite the authoritarianism inherent in the Emergency, particularly with the rising power of Sanjay Gandhi and his Youth Congress brigade, Indira Gandhi did end it and call for elections.Finely argued, incisive and original, this book offers significant insight into those turbulent years and joins the ever-relevant debate on the acceptable limits of popular protest in a democracy.
India Wins Freedom: The Complete Version
Abul Kalam Azad - 1978
It includes his personal experiences when India became independent, and his ideas on freedom and liberty.The book takes the form of an autobiographical narrative and goes over the happenings of the Indian Independence movement. The book traces the events that took place and ultimately led to the partition in a frank and profound manner. The book says that politics was responsible for the partition more than religion. It also states that India failed to maximise its potential when it gained independence. The book discusses political hypocrisy, and also touches upon contemporaries of the author’s, like Nehru, Gandhi, and Subhash Chandra Bose, and highlights their mind-sets during that time.
Midnight's Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India's Partition
Nisid Hajari - 2015
Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhi’s protégé and the political leader of India, believed Indians were an inherently nonviolent, peaceful people. Pakistan’s founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, was a secular lawyer, not a firebrand. But in August 1946, exactly a year before Independence, Calcutta erupted in riots. A cycle of street-fighting — targeting Hindus, then Muslims, then Sikhs — spun out of control. As the summer of 1947 approached, all three groups were heavily armed and on edge, and the British rushed to leave. Hell let loose. Trains carried Muslims west and Hindus east to their slaughter. Some of the most brutal and widespread ethnic cleansing in modern history erupted on both sides of the new border, searing a divide between India and Pakistan that remains a root cause of many evils. From jihadi terrorism to nuclear proliferation, the searing tale told in Midnight’s Furies explains all too many of the headlines we read today.