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

PartitionSubscribe to Partition

Relative Intimacies

Described here are stories of families within the borderlands of India and Bangladesh who have kin relations on the other side of the border. They are about the continued making and maintenance of kinship ties across transnational family networks over the changing practices of border control. Officers and constables in the Indian Border Security Force, tasked with preventing all cross-border movements, recognised with sympathy the existence and emotional power of cross-border family ties. This article attempts to answer questions like what normative and emotive ideas about kin obligations and morality prevail upon individuals and families as they decide whether or not to continue investment in relations across borders. How do these sit within the larger political economy of the border itself?

Forgetting Partition

History’s silence resonates in the textual silence of the Indian Constitution on the immense scale of violence and exodus accompanying the partition of the subcontinent, despite the contemporaneity of partition and constitution writing. Clearly discernible on a closer reading of the Constituent Assembly's debates are implicit influences of partition on key constitutional decisions, such as citizenship, political safeguards for religious minorities and provisions creating a strong central tendency in the union. The constitutional memory of partition, as a freak occurrence for which the "outsider" was to be blamed, resembles the understanding of official historiography. Behind these common registers of memory lie powerful nationalist narratives of identity and unity, which indicate a deep and abiding connection between constitutional amnesia and nationalism.

On a Bengali Dalit Autobiography

Surviving in My World: Growing Up Dalit in Bengal by Manohar Mouli Biswas, edited and translated in English by Angana Dutta and Jaideep Sarangi, Stree Samya Books, 2015; pp 150, ₹ 280.

Pointers to Partition

A Narrative of Communal Politics: Uttar Pradesh, 1937-39 by Salil Misra; Sage, New Delhi, 2001; pp 363, Rs 295.

Iqbal, Jinnah and India's Partition

This paper brings out some dimensions of the crucial political relationship between Muhammad Iqbal and Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Though this relationship had far-reaching consequences in shaping the contours of the subcontinent's turbulent history, it has not been adequately studied in partition histories.

Misreading Partition Road Signs

History does not retrace its steps. It is no longer useful to ask if the partition could have been avoided. The question is no longer important. The different perceptions of the shared history of India and Pakistan have, perhaps, contributed in some measure to create barriers of prejudice between the two nations. However, there are issues of history that need to be looked at again. This article attempts to highlight some of those contentious and often ill-understood issues. Offered here is an attempt by a sociologist-cum-social anthropologist to highlight some issues. It is not an alternative history.

Another History Rises to the Surface

'Hey Ram' signals a basic shift in perspective on the consensus about leading figures such as Gandhi and Periyar in a discourse about secularism, democracy and identity. This article examines the controversial film focusing on the contradictory effects of the film, the distinct uncertainty that viewers experience when confronted with the inflammatory images and voices that conjure up a narrative of Muslim bloodlust and Hindu trauma on the one hand, and the less forceful narratives moves to distance the spectator from an extreme Hindutva perspective on the other.

Retelling History

Pangs of Partition, Volume I: The Parting of Ways, and Volume II: The Human Dimension edited by S Settar and Indira Baptista Gupta; Indian Council of Historical Research, Manohar, New Delhi, 2002; pp 368+358, Rs 700 each.

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