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

PartitionSubscribe to Partition

End of the Postcolonial State

Much of the scholarship on Bangladesh’s founding places it within a narrative of repetition. It either repeats the partitions of 1905 or 1947 or the creation of India and Pakistan as postcolonial states. This paper argues instead for the novelty of Bangladesh’s creation against the postcolonial state, suggesting that it opened up a new history at the global level in which decolonisation was replaced by civil war as the founding narrative for new states.

Beyond the Break with the Past

In the 1940s, Bengali Muslim intellectuals sought to find a new autonomy in a comprehensive break with the texts and language of the Hindu-dominated literature of the “Bengal Renaissance.” But within a few years of Pakistan’s founding, a new generation argued that disavowing the past was not...

Collision amid Collusion and Cooperation

This paper examines the history of largely understudied women’s rights activists in the early years of East Pakistan. While they collided with West Pakistani activists—and the central state—on matters of culture, identity, and political and economic issues, they actively cooperated with West Pakistani counterparts to fight gender discrimination and to demand reform in women’s rights from the state.

Dhaka 1969

A reading of 1969, the momentous year of protests against Ayub Khan’s dictatorship in East Pakistan is offered, going beyond the popular tropes of inevitability and loss. The moments when Bengali nationalism exceeded its own expectations by making michhil or procession its main focus are identified. A rumination on Dhaka, which found its present cultural and political identity through the upheaval of the 1960s is presented.

Independence, Freedom, Liberation

The idea of swadhinata (which translates as both freedom and independence), along with a novel conception of liberation (mukti), animated the founding discourse of Bangladesh in 1971. This paper explores how these ideas, and their longer histories, jostled together to shape the promise of Bangladesh’s founding. It also reflects on how the conflictual promise of 1971 underwrote the political history of post-independence Bangladesh.

Identity, Indigeneity and the National

In the Name of the Nation: India and Its Northeast by Sanjib Baruah, New Delhi: Navayana Publishing (by arrangement with Stanford Univ Press), 2021; pp xiii + 278, ` 599.

Lessons of Hope for India and Pakistan

Animosity at Bay: An Alternative History of the India–Pakistan Relationship, 1947–52 by Pallavi Raghavan, HarperCollins Publishers India, 2020, pp 288, ₹ 699.

Conjoint Effects of Caste

This article attempts to extend studies on Ambedkar’s understanding of the nation state to include his concerns for the international. This is achieved by looking at the problem of caste inequality outside the borders of the Indian nation state and the latter’s response or the absence of response to such a pertinent issue. Via an analysis of political sovereignty, the social question, and Buddhism, we seek to demonstrate how Ambedkar reworks the connections between the national and the international on the common register of human equality.

Jangpura Triptych

A neighbourhood history of one central Delhi neighbourhood is attempted as a way of addressing the lack of such work in existing urban studies. The focus is largely on the perspective of middle-class residents, their attempts at place-making, and their relation to other residents.

​Partition, Migration, and Silence

Diverse experiences of partition are spoken about in a limited manner, resulting in a conscious silence.

Bureaucracy and Border Control

Studies on militarisation and borders in South Asia have often remained focused on zones of spectacular conflict such as Kashmir, or Punjab during the partition. This article tracks the production of a discourse on borders by those charged with border security such as the police and other senior bureaucracy in the decades following the partition. It suggests that the “border question” evolved gradually out of a series of everyday concerns over local criminality that finally coalesced into the more abstract category of “national security.” It examines bureaucratic debates on police reorganisation in Kutch between 1948 and 1952 to suggest that contemporary discourses on nation and borders were arrived at through intra-bureaucratic negotiations with the far less abstract categories of village, locality and region.

Pages

Back to Top