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

Articles by Anasua Basu RaychaudhurySubscribe to Anasua Basu Raychaudhury

Nostalgia of 'Desh', Memories of Partition

The riots that broke out in erstwhile East Bengal soon after Partition saw a steady inflow of refugees into West Bengal. In the more impersonal government accounts, refugees formed part of a vast logistical exercise. They had to be housed in camps, issued voter and ration cards and, in some cases, provided due compensation. But each individual refugee story is a tale of individual loss, of escape and survival in a new land; a narrative rendered especially poignant by the sudden whiff of nostalgia for a lost homeland or 'desh'. In the more jingoistic present, 'desh' has taken on a connotation similar to the patriotic fervour, 'nation' evokes. However, for refugees, as the personal narratives in this article reveal, 'desh' will forever remain in place as one's homeland, now only sustained by memories.

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