When history and memory collide : contextualising gendered representations of the partition of India in women's writings
Lim, Denise Zhi Qing
Date of Issue2017
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
2017 marks the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India. 70 years on, “Partition” has become byword for widespread communal violence in India. This is especially pertinent, as Hindu nationalism is on the rise with the prominence of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), increasing frequency of communal violence, and the passing of the last Partition survivors. Yet, there is no official acknowledgement of the enormous scale of violence that happened during Partition, and official narratives neglect women’s experiences of violence during Partition. Identifying the urgency of understanding Partition violence in such context, this dissertation looks at how Partition has been remembered in literature. It is contended that, when read alongside context of large-scale communal violence, a shift in literary representation of Partition in 1980s is reflected. This shift can be attributed to the widespread communal violence, and significant gendered violence committed against women in the ‘80s and ‘90s that renewed fears of a repeat of Partition-like violence. This impelled literary authors and historians alike to make the experiences of Partition violence center in their examination of Partition violence.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University