From the Ashes of 1947: Reimagining Punjab
This book revisits the partition of the Punjab, its attendant violence and, as a consequence, the divided and dislocated Punjabi lives. Navigating nostalgia and trauma, dreams and laments, identity(s) and homeland(s), it explores the partition of the very idea of Punjabiyat. It was Punjab (along with Bengal) that was divided to create the new nations of India and Pakistan and that inherited a communalised and fractured self. In subsequent years, religious and linguistic sub-divisions followed – arguably, no other region of the sub-continent has had its linguistic and ethnic history submerged within respective national and religious identity(s) and none paid the price of partition like the pluralistic, pre-partition Punjab. This book is about the dissonance, distortion and dilution which details the past of the region. It describes ‘people’s history’ through diverse oral narratives, literary traditions and popular accounts. In terms of space, it documents the experience of partition in the two prosperous localities of Ludhiana and Lyallpur (now Faisalabad), with a focus on migration; and in the Muslim princely state of Malerkotla, with a focus on its escape from the violence of 1947. In terms of groups, it especially attends to women and their experiences, beyond the symbolic prism of ‘honour’. Critically examining existing accounts, discussing the differential impact of partition, and partaking in the ever democratising discourse on it, this book attempts to illustrate the lack of closure associated with 1947.
Citation : Virdee, P. (2018) From the Ashes of 1947: Reimagining Punjab. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
ISBN : 9781108428118
Research Institute : Institute of History
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- School of Humanities