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

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South Asian Women s Communal Identities

South Asian Women's Communal Identities Anne Hardgrove THE set of events we call both the independence and partition of India and Pakistan is arguably the most important turning point for modern south Asian history. Yet until recently, most scholarship has dealt with the constitutional aspects, and little has been said about communal violence, especially violence against women. Communal violence against Sikhs in 1984 and communal rioting after the destruction of the Babri masjid in 1992 have served as tragic catalysts to push scholars to reconceptualise partition violence and think about how violence might be written into historical accounts. Since history can be largely a study of the present, speaking and writing about the partition to a certain degree means presenting our own take on present communal tensions. Even setting some fixed date of partition proves difficult, since the process of national formation and population exchange was spread out over many years. We might find it appropriate, therefore, to refer to partition in both past and present tenses.

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