In 2021, one of the accounts of Partition that gained unprecedented views and appreciation on social media was one of ‘true love wherein the elderly Pritam Kaur reminiscenced her days spent in the refugee camp during the partition period. How her 16-year-old self hoped for her fiancé, Bhagwan Singh Maini safety and how he suffering from similar longing and hope found her in one of the camps, having frantically searched for her for 90 days. The narrative of ‘pure love’ that lives beyond boundaries, shackles and challenges elicits the question as to why more such stories that sustained and nurtured lives of partition victims in the face of loss have not been narrated enough. Perhaps partition archives and academic study have delved deeper into the politics of loss, trauma, amnesia, and violence than exploring narratives of love, resilience, courage and onward journeys of victims and their subsequent generations. According to Chenoy, ‘to memorialise Partition is to record that there are always many narratives. Cherry-picking one narrative of hatred distorts history’ (2021). While Pritam’s phulkari jacket and Bhagwan’s brown briefcase form an important relict of partition history and of Amritsar’s Partition Museum, there are many more such stories that lie buried under the politics and historicity of partition.
This proposed issue aims to explore renewed reflections on the narratives of love, hope, resilience, and progressive trajectories in the lives of partition victims and the subsequent generations with an aim to present the less traversed, other half of the subcontinent’s partition history. In doing so, this issue aims to revisit questions such as : what consisted of India’s gateway into the postcolonial and how religion-based mobilisation for state power during partition have been employed by right wing political discourses to widen socio-cultural and economic divide between castes, classes, and ethnic minorities in India. The same can be said about state politics in Bangladesh and Pakistan where the national rhetoric has created class, community, and religious differences. On the occasion of 75th year of the partition, this issue aims to bring together scholars from South Asia and beyond who are willing to begin new conversations on the Partition exploring lost narratives of hope, love, and resilience during and after partition and how these narratives of courage have percolated into and have been archived by subsequent generations.
Topics include but are not limited to:
- Individual vs collective consciousness of courage and resilience
- Postcolonial legacies of partition – narratives of rehabilitation and resettlement
- Memory, affects and emotion
- Cross-cultural/border links post partition – music, media and performance
- Role of historicity and authenticity in the making of post partition nations
- Archiving oral histories: survivor narratives of love, loss and hope
- Intergenerational memory - narratives of progressive trajectories
- Cultural representations of tolerance and sacrifice
- Religious syncretism in the aftermath of the partition
- Tracing partition memories: role of digital media
- Memory and memorialisation of resilience in literary and cinematic representations
- Narratives of love, loss and hope from the South Asian diaspora
We invite 300-word abstracts to be submitted by 26th April 2022 to firstname.lastname@example.org along with a short bio. Full papers between 6000 and 7000 words to be submitted by 15th October 2022. All papers submitted will go through the standard peer review process. The special issue will be published in a SCOPUS indexed SAGE journal.
Debadrita Chakraborty, Assistant Professor
School of Liberal Studies
UPES, Dehradun, India