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

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Memories of a Fragmented Nation-Rewriting the Histories of India s Partition

In order to explore those aspects and areas which directly or indirectly impinged on the sudden and total breakdown of long-standing inter-community networks and alliances, it is necessary to locate the partition debates outside the paradigms set by the two-nation theory or the rhetoric of Indian nationalism and, in the process, set to rest those speculative theories that are designed to lend respectability to British colonialism. Fifty years after independence is an opportune moment to revise and reconsider established theories on partition, introduce a more nuanced discourse and stay clear of the conventional wisdom on the theme of 'communal ' politics. Contrary to the exaggerated claims made in both the countries, most people were either indifferent to or unconcerned with the national borders or the newly-created geographical territories that were being laboriously created. Creative writings of a host of novelists and poets on the partition especially expose the inadequacy of numerous narratives on independence and partition, and compel us to explore fresh themes and adopt new approaches that have eluded the grasp of social scientists. If histories of partition are to be re-written, then creative writings provide a foundation for developing an alternative discourse to current expositions of a general theory on inter-community relations.

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