Revisiting 1947, Through the Eyes of Literature Essay

10176 WordsAug 26, 201341 Pages
   In the Heat of Fratricide: The Literature of India’s Partition Burning Freshly (A Review Article) India Partitioned: The Other Face of Freedom. Edited by M H. volumes. New Delhi: Lotus, Roli Books, . Orphans of the Storm: Stories on the Partition of India. Edited by S Cand K.S. D.New Delhi: UBSPD, . Stories about the Partition of India. Edited by A B.  volumes. Delhi: Indus, HarperCollins, . I This is not that long awaited dawn … —Faiz Ahmad Faiz T    surrounding the Partition of India on August –,  created at least ten million refugees, and resulted in at least one million deaths. This is, perhaps, as much as we can quantify the tragedy. The bounds of the property loss, even if they were known, could not encompass the devastation. The number of persons beaten, maimed, tortured, raped, abducted, exposed to disease and exhaustion, and otherwise physically brutalized remains measureless. The emotional pain of severance from home, family and friendships is by its nature immeasurable. Fifty years have passed and the Partition remains unrequited in the historical experience of the Subcontinent. This is, in one sense, as it should be, for the truth remains that the Partition unleashed barbarism so cruel, indeed so thorough in its cruelty, and complementary acts of compassion so magnificent—in short a com-  • T A  U S plex of impulses so pernicious, so heroic, so visceral, so human—that they cannot easily be assimilated into normal life. Neither can they be forgotten. And so, ingloriously, the experience of the Partition has been perhaps most clearly assimilated in the perpetuation of communal hostility within both India and Pakistan, for which it serves as the defining moment. The hope for a different assimilation has

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