Since 1947 is about a series of events-the departure of the British, the inauguration of the post-colonial Indian state, and an unprecedented forced migration that followed Partition. Most importantly, it summarizes the nearly six-decade-long efforts at restoring the loss of homes, livelihoods, and national territory in 1947. This study tells the story of Hindus and Sikhs from the North West Frontier Province and West Punjab who made India's capital their new home.
Based on the everyday life of the migrants in three resettlement colonies, the book focuses on the period between 1947 and 1965-from the time of Partition till the official closure of resettlement work. It shows how partition stands as a living theme, a point of reference for the Delhi Punjabis. The narrative is woven with memories of lived and inherited experiences and national histories of Partition. The refugees' journey towards becoming 'local' is mapped through an exploration of their coping strategies and gradual identification with the Indian state. This work, thus, shifts focus from standard debates on Hindus-Muslims, Congress party-Muslim League, India-Pakistan, and opens up the inquiry to uncharted territory.
Ravinder Kaur also challenges narratives that represent migration as chaotic, disorderly, and hurried. Using personal and governmental narratives, she shows that the population movement-layered by multiple levels of class, caste, and gender experience-was far more complicated than we popularly imagine. The government policy pertaining to resettlement wherein compensation against property lost in Pakistan was the key criterion, and the current status of these colonies have also been discussed.
This study will interest researchers and scholars in sociology, history, and politics. The interested lay reader too will find it engaging.
Ravinder Kaur is Post-doctoral Fellow, Institute for Society and Globalisation, Roskilde University, Denmark,
Back Of The Book
'This volume is at the forefront of the "new history" of Partition with its emphasis on locality, the lived experience of migrants and the, differential patterns of migration, violence and resettlement. Ravinder Kaur admirably addresses all these themes in a book which is packed with information and issues."
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