To mark 70 years of independence and 75 years of the Quit India Movement, The Wire spoke to four freedom fighters from Maharashtra.
Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy’s United Bengal Plan That Could Have Changed the Course of India’s History
Suhrawardy, a largely forgotten figure today, was Bengal’s chief minister in 1946 and is often mis-remembered as a Hindu-hating communal leader.
An excerpt from Unbordered Memories: Sindhi Stories of Partition, edited and translated by Rita Kothari.
Like in India, there were some filmmakers in Pakistan who did venture to look at the bloodiest chapter of the independence struggle of the two countries.
Each week, we bring you a selection of the past week’s multimedia stories.
Amit Khanna, the executive producer of Buniyaad, which triggered memories of Partition in both India and Pakistan, recalls how the 1987 drama was created.
How did migration impact the professional networks in which scientists functioned? Did they continue academic discussions with their former colleagues on the other side of the border?
Sindhis, who had become homeless and penniless overnight, built schools, colleges and became doctors, helping not only themselves but countless others.
Singers both in India and Pakistan have found creative ways out of imposed silences on certain kinds of music to keep their art and repertoires alive.
Ravikant, Debjani Sengupta and P.K. Dutta discuss how Partition scholarship is evolving to be more inclusive of the many lives that were irreversibly altered by the events of 1947.
Though promised much by the ‘Hindu’ west after Partition, Dalits who crossed over from East Bengal got the opposite of a warm welcome.
Although one might expect censorship due to the sensitivity of the issue, Hindi films began referring to Partition almost immediately after the events.
The terror of Partition is signified in Bengali cinema, literature and songs through the works of Ritwik Ghatak, Amitav Ghosh, Jibanananda Das and Taslima Nasreen.
Gandhi’s role in the leadership he gave to Assam Congress to help geographically integrate the northeast to independent India is not well documented.
Partition as memory is still an oral world embedded in silences, caught in a language of despair that refuses to heal 70 years later.
The Wire’s #PartitionAt70 series brings a number of stories that will attempt at drawing a comprehensive picture of those weeks and months when entire geographies and histories changed forever.
The 1947 Partition Archive’s collection, comprising over 30,000 digital documents and photographs collected from 12 countries in 22 languages, will be released beginning August 10.
On narrow nationalism, why minorities, especially Muslims, must be made to feel safe in India, and the need to replace the short ‘jhadoo’ with a long-handled broom.
As a person of both Indian and Pakistani origin, Nida Kirmani always thought, ‘Why should I have to choose?’ Until last week, when Indian officials seized her Person of Indian Origin card, saying she cannot be both.
Toba Tek Singh, a town in Pakistan’s Punjab, witnessed terrible violence during Partition. However, locals have since tried to preserve an older, more syncretic legacy.
Panic had already been growing in Madras – the city was already flooded with refugees from Burma with tales of the bombing on Rangoon and Mandalay.
Flood, famine, Partition, riots and the promise of land and jobs drove early migrants to the Sundarbans. Despite many hardships, they found a home there.
‘Begum Jaan’ had the potential to provoke, but loses out thanks to the director’s constant emphasis on hammering in his point instead of letting the audience get there themselves.
If Begum Jaan, or for that matter any movie on Partition made outside of Pakistan, can make the nation so vulnerable that it cannot even view the film before banning it, the country is certainly enveloped in insecurity and paranoia.
Gandhi speaks to our times with renewed urgency in a just-published translation of an acclaimed work.
In Pakistan, as in Kashmir, one finds brief moments of happiness amidst political uncertainty and grave injustice.
Racist movements exploit the tensions between democracy and nationalism and use the crisis to its advantage, as evident in the US and in India.
An exhibition, Part Narratives, put together a collection of works that portrayed the experience of Partition and the characteristics of memory.
The Jammu and Kashmir government has already identified 36,348 families for distribution of the package under which each family will get around Rs 5.5 lakh.
As long as the Indian nation ignores the injustices it has perpetrated from the very beginnings of its existence, freedom will continue to mean nothing but the celebration of a date.
Perhaps the project of memorialisation can be turned around and pressed forward – to document, record and speak of ‘our partitions.’
Most people I know who were personally affected by the partition have feelings of acceptance and moving on rather than anything else.
Both India and Pakistan have been successful in their nationalism projects, the former debatably more effective in its efforts. In doing so, both nations have found it necessary to look down upon the other.
In his new book, Husain Haqqani broadly diagnoses the bilateral distrust between India and Pakistan and maps out how both sides have played with a number of levers over the last two decades.
104 years after his birth, Manto continues to teach us about valuing the human above any ethical or political standpoint, through his stark Partition stories.
Migration and displacement, nostalgia about a pastoral age, decline and disaster run through Intizar Hussain’s classics Basti and The Sea Lies Ahead.
A sense of the ironic inheritances of colonialism is desperately needed in France, where the nation bids communities to disappear even as it begs them not to go.
In the darkest hour of partition, when the whole of East Punjab was engulfed in a frenzy of communal violence, the town remained calm. And has stayed that way ever since.
Is the kind of history written by young scholars like Venkat Dhulipala going to be reduced to waging old wars with equally ageing analytical equipment?
“Where did the congratulations come in? Would it not be more appropriate to say condolences?”Gandhi was responding to the greetings sent to him on his 78th birthday. It was October 2, 1947, Gandhiji’s first birthday after India gained independence. Lady and Lord Mountbatten came to congratulate him. Telegrams, letters, flowers, […]