After the holocaust: Partition and Bangladeshi literature

Haq, Kaiser
The Daily Star
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The Partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 has become indissolubly linked to horrific, haunting images of armed gangs or mobs attacking helpless groups of men, women and children trying to cross a border that had just been scratched on the map. Literature registers the shock in works that make harrowing reading. Partition literature becomes a tragic sub-genre in the subcontinent. However, this image of Partition literature does not apply uniformly throughout the region. The massacre was centred on the Punjab. South India, mercifully, was spared the horrors. In the east the pattern of violence was quite different, and had a different sort of demographic and literary fallout. The holocaust in the Punjab left no Hindus or Sikhs west of the border and no Muslims to its east. In Bengal, instead of such wholesale demographic changes, there has been migration in spurts and trickles prompted by episodes of communal conflict. Link -