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Revisiting Partition: Tales of Displacement, Horror, Negotiation and Reconciliation

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Item Code: HAS927
Author: Edited By Sachchidanand Joshi, Ravi Prakash Tekchandani
Publisher: Indira Gandhi National Centre For The Arts
Language: English
Edition: 2023
ISBN: 9789391045920
Pages: 164
Cover: HARDCOVER
Other Details 10x7 inch
Weight 658 gm
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Book Description
About the Editors

Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, the Executive and Academic Head of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi, is a Scholar of History and Mass Communication, a Writer, a Poet and an Actor. He was the Founder Vice Chancellor of the Kushabhau Thakre University of Journalism and Mass Communication, Raipur He served as Vice Chancellor for two terms (10 years). He was also the Founder Registrar of Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication, Bhopal. He served as Dean (Academics) in the Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication, Bhopal too. He has written extensively on Media, Communication, History, Culture, Education, Policy, and other relevant issues. He has been delivering lectures on Communication, Gender Sensitization, Research for Resurgence, Personality Development, Art and Culture in prestigious institutions. He has edited the Speeches of Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, for Publication Division. He edited many other prestigious publications. He has been writing extensively. Some of his recent published works include "Sachchidanand Joshi ki Lokpriya Kahaniya" (2017). "Kuchh Alpa Viraam" (2018), "Pal Bhar ki Pahchan" (2019) two poetry collections. His speeches have been compiled in two volumes titled "Mera Desh Mera Dharm.

Prof. Ravi Prakash Tekchandani of Delhi University is a well-known voice of Sindhi language and literature. He is currently serving as the director of the National Council for Promotion of Sindhi Language (NCPSL), Ministry of Education Govt. of India. He has 24 authored, edited, translated and transliterated books to his credit, besides several papers in research journals and articles in newspapers and magazines. His milestone research in the field of proverbs provided a unique linguistic and socio-cultural study of Sindhi society, becoming the basis for extensive work in this field.

Prof. Tekchandani's emotive and exploratory style of writing has earned him the reputation of a rare man of letters. His work 'Saryu Se Sindhu' published by NBT is a wrenching account of the struggle of a people uprooted from their land. His other books include "Sindhi Pahaka (three volumes), "Sindhi Lok Manyataon Aivam Sahitya Mein Ramayana and the upcoming Sindhi Sahitya: Vividh Nibandh

More recently, he has used folk tools and oral literature, to recreate and revives fading Sindhi narratives ranging from freedom fighters like Hemu Kalani to age-old folk tales like Sasui-Punhu. One of greatest achievements of Prof Tekchandani during his current and previous tenure as director of NCPSL has been the launch and execution of Sindhi language courses for various levels and age groups.

Prof. Tekchandani also a tenured Professor of Sindhi Language and Literature in the department of Modern Indian Languages and Literary Studies (MIL&LS), University of Delhi. Apart from Sindhi, he is proficient in Hindi, Urdu, Awadhi and English and has served as the director of Central Hindi Directorate (CHD) in the past. Among other academic and administrative responsibilities, he is currently a member of the Committee to set up 'Partition Centre for Independence and Partition Studies' in University of Delhi.

Preface

75 years of India's Independence many would question the relevance of remembering as well as revisiting the horrors of Partition of India on the auspicious occasion. This question came to my mind until I happened to hear and read embodied experiences of survivors' of the mindless and horrific tragedy of Partition of India. To begin with, I must appreciate the painstaking efforts of the contributors to this book. When India is celebrating the Independence from the Britain it is equally important to remember that more than a million people underwent unimaginable agony and suffering just because they stood on the wrong side of a boundary line drawn on map by the British who un-thoughtfully but cunningly decided to divide the country out of frustration.

The Partition of India had devastated millions of lives across the Indian sub- continent. There were riots, unrests, violence, animosity, rapes, massacres, looting. starvation and one of the largest forced mass migrations in human history that the world has ever witnessed. Millions of people suffered immense loss and endured horrific days. Perhaps in the recent history of humanity, there are no parallel to the horrors committed by fellow humans on their very neighbours. The provinces of Punjab and Bengal faced the consequences of catastrophic riots that claimed thousands of lives and left an indelible mark in the psyche of millions of people. The repercussions and traumas of the partition haunt the memories of the Nation and its people till date.

Introduction

FREEDOM of India was not earned with absolute adherence to non-violence Independence of the nation was coterminous with the partition of the country into Pakistan and Hindustan, with an unprecedented number of over twenty lakh people killed in cross-border migrations and twenty crore compulsively displaced from their home and hearth. The Radcliffe line divided Punjab into west and east Punjab. Sindh was not divided, Sindhis were forced to leave their beloved Sindh, completely deterritorialized, some hopeful yet skeptical of a new haven across the border, others overwhelmed with a sense of loss, consternation at its suddenness and uncertainty about the future.

Infants, in spite of their frailty, and elders of the families, as old as ninety-five years, had to be transported in the fashion of Shravan kumar carrying the weight of old parents in classical mythology. Apathy loomed large in the atmosphere. From the literary perspective, Krishan Chander's story "Peshawar Express" epitomizes this human apathy in the face of which the narrator is the train and tells first hand horror stories of ghastly violence towards the displaced migrants, now reduced to a non-descript status by a single stroke of destiny.

The story takes place during the Partition of India. It is told from the vantage point of the train itself as it travels to different regions throughout India. The train not only carries dead bodies, but horrific tales. The train witnesses obscene violence towards the refugees and recounts the same. The burden and the onus of narration and expression of emotion now landed on this inanimate and objective narrator. There are stories like "Granny" by Popti Hiranandani.

The old woman accustomed to telling stories to her grandchildren creates a happy aura of Sindhi cultural heritage in the psychological imaginary of her children, nurturing a happy present and a well- cherished future in their minds. However, the splintering of the nation with the declaration of the partition of the country leaves granny crawling on the floor, searching for particles of dust belonging to her homeland. Psychological derangement forms another repercussion of the partition impacting the psychological health of many, well charted in the stories of Sadat Hasan Manto. Gratuitous violence and inordinate perversion of human mind are evinced in "The Dog of Tetwal".

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