About seven decades ago, the colonials who swept through Asia in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and earlier started their retreat. They had lost so much money fighting each other over their spoils during the World Wars that they could not afford the upkeep of their colonies.
One of the aftermath of the colonial rule in Asia was the formalisation of national boundaries. The Indian subcontinent was split into India and Pakistan( West and East, which later disengaged from the West and evolved as Bangladesh).The angst that started during the Partition of the Indian sub- continent generated violence that took more than 200,000 to 2 million lives. The figures remain disputed.
Literature has captured a lot of the suffering that ripped through the continent. Partition literature in the Indian sub- continent continues to dwell on the anger and violence between the two countries.
Sukrita Paul, an expert on Partition Literature, reflects: “Why do Indian writers keep going back to Partition? Is it the incomprehensibility of the event as it took place in the writer’s own life or is it bafflement at the collective tragedy? Is it written as a testament to the degeneration of humanity? Is it catharsis that is sought? Is Partition perceived as the soil in which the seeds of communal divide were sown? Do the personal, political, national and cultural crises all come together in the large body of Partition literature produced over the last seven decades?”
Find out what she has to say from this article in The Hindu.
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