Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Partition of India, 1947 - another look

For most persons in India over the age of 70 or 75, the Partition of India in 1947 was a traumatic experience. So many people in Bengal and Punjab lost a hearth and home or loss of livelihood or worst, a loved one. There have been many books, highlighting one aspect or the other of that tragic event. The "blame game" has been on now for the past 50 to 60 years; but "finger-pointing" has not helped the people of the sub-continent really to come to terms with the unfortunate developments. For that, perhaps a look inwards into ourselves, as we are with our respective identities, would help.
I have attempted this in my book , "A Partition in the Mind" (published by CinnamonTeal Design and Publishing). But identities do not develop overnight and I had to go back quite a good bit into time and into history of the sub-continent for this purpose. There were many strands of events and experiences to be followed up, some hardly ever thought to be even remotely associated with the Partition. There was, of course, a large "dramatis personae", ranging from social, political and religious reformers, British governors-general and vice-roys and officials, as well as politicians like Gandhi, Nehru and Jinnah who played major roles at one point of time or the other.
An interesting aspect  of this work has been the repeated confrontation with "historiography": not only "who" said "what", but also "why".
I am particularly beholden to the many scholars whose prior work - over a 100 books are mentioned in the Bibliography - helped me to get closer to the subject matter in its many dimensions.  Hopefully, this book will interest others also to delve into their pioneering work.

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