Bearing Witness

Bearing Witness

Partition, Independence, End of the Raj

Book - 2002
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August 14/15, 1947, reverberates with meaning for Indian and Pakistani people. The date does more than mark the "independence" of India. This momentous time marks the birth of two nation states, India and Pakistan, and is fixed in the memory of many as Partition and end of the Raj.Bearing Witness Partition, Independence, End of the Raj attempts to nuance this historical moment by considering contemporary and post-event responses to Partition, which Indians and Pakistanis have inherited as one of uncontested significance. From testimonials and speeches by Jinnah and Nehru to fictional and non-fictional accounts by Indians and the British, and political cartoons that appeared in English newspapers at the time, Kamra offers an inductive study of primary texts that have been ignored until now. The book studies the three groups most affected by the events of 1947: the British, for whom this was the beginning of exile; the Indian elite, for whom the moment was a rite of passage; and the survivors of Partition, for whom the event is inextricably linked with trauma and loss of home, family, and community.Author Sukeshi Kamra asks, "Why do we not consider these valid and contesting readings in the teaching and learning of our history? Not doing so means that testimonials to Partition, such as narratives of trauma, autobiographies as 'personal' statements on a 'public' moment, and political cartoons as a minute-by-minute construction of history have yet to be considered."
August 14/15, 1947 reverberates with meaning for Indian and Pakistani people. The date does more than mark the "independence" of India. This momentous time marks the birth of two nation states, India and Pakistan, and is fixed in the memory of many as Partition and end of the Raj. Bearing Witness attempts to nuance this historical moment by considering contemporary and post-event responses to Partition, which Indians and Pakistanis have inherited as one of uncontested significance.


Book News
The recent tensions between Pakistan and India and between India's Muslim and Hindu populations bear witness to the importance of the Partition of August 1947, to both South Asia and the world in general. The events of that month led to a migration of some 12 to 16 million and the deaths of over one million, and yet is mostly remembered by official India as Independence. Focusing on three separate groups of people, Kamra (dean of the faculty of arts, Okanagan University College, Canada) explores the different meanings drawn from that time in editorial cartoons, speeches, memoirs, fictional accounts, and other texts. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: Calgary : University of Calgary Press, c2002
ISBN: 9781552380413
1552380416
Characteristics: xvi, 414 p. ; 24 cm

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