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

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What’s in a Name?

Sindhi migration to India is being characterised by a growing loss of syncretism and an increasing alignment with right-wing politics.

In light of India’s 76th Independence Day and Partition Horrors Remembrance Day, some basic political questions continue to be intertwined with the social. Was partition the beginning of a period of loss of syncretism along South Asia’s borders? Why did one community affected by partition align itself with religiously oriented right-wing politics? Was such an alignment an attempt at survival?

A significant number of people from the “Pakistani Hindu” community are from Sindh, Pakistan. Their search for a legitimate identity began with partition but continues to this day. Their hyphenated identity places one part of it in contradiction to the other—“Pakistani” versus “Hindu.” This had led to a sensitivity that is reflected in their emphasis on one part of the identity—more Hindu, less Pakistan. This is a consequence of the treatment given to Sindhi Hindus during partition by the Indian government. Priya Kumar and Rita Kothari’s “Sindh 1947 and Beyond” (2016) notes that some communities like the Sindhis who were forced to leave their native regions during partition were treated as cowards migrating to India “unnecessarily.” Vazira F Y Zamindar’s The Long Partition and the Making of Modern South Asia: Refugees, Boundaries, Histories (2007) notes that the Indian government wasn’t willing to allocate resources for the rehabilitation or evacuation of these refugees, who were instead instructed to remain where they were.

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Updated On : 20th Oct, 2022
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