ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Rounded Understanding of Partition

The Partition of India by Ian Talbot and Gurharpal Singh (New Delhi: Cambridge University Press), 2009; pp xvii + 206, Rs 695.

Partition may have “resolved” the immediate question of how the British would leave India in August 1947, but it triggered a whole new range of problems that remain with us to the present day, on all sides of the new international border. It is with great skill, therefore, that the authors of this study juggle the short and the longer-term implications of Partition, weaving them into an overall picture that places developments in the Punjab (all too often the focus for Partition-related histories) in the wider subcontinental context. Likewise, they factor in mediations of gender, existing power structures, and caste and community considerations, which have gained greater academic currency in recent years, balancing “high politics” with the all-important popular dimension.

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