Violence Trauma and Loss

Singh, Jasbir
Guru Nanak Dev University
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The partition of the Punjab in 1947 was one of the most cataclysmic events in the history of human civilization. It lingers as a pivotal moment not so much for the political significance, but for its lasting impression of monstrosity and horrific emotional duress. The year 1947 stands distinctly in the troubled history of the Punjab when it was partitioned resulting in massive displacement of millions and communal frenzy leading to widespread rape, abduction and killings. Thus, the partition has become a seminal event in the history of Indian subcontinent and a reference point for everything that has come after. It caused one of the greatest human convulsions. The Punjab turned out to be the arena of communal bloodbath where violence spread to every nook and corner. The partition resulted in tremendous material, human loss and suffering and the people of the Punjab passed through a traumatic experience in which anarchy and violence created a deep rupture in the social fabric. The most horrible aspect of the partition was the frenzied communal violence which accompanied it. The historical studies have largely focused on the political processes leading to and following the partition. Human agony, pain and suffering do not find place in the pages of written history. In the past one or two decades the partition has began to be probed alternatively. The focus has been shifted from ‘high politics’ of the partition, and way has been given to new perspectives largely ignored in the historical narrative. Various genres of literature are being used to fully comprehend the absurd reality of the partition and to recover the lived experience of the people. In response to the tumultuous period of 1947, a huge corpus of fictional writings has been produced by scores of the writers who have tried to address the human dimension of the partition. There has been a resurgence of popular as well academic interest to unfold, disentangle and understand the event of the partition. These writing have delved on the varied individual experiences of the tragedy, weaving long and short narratives thus translating the gruesome reality of the partition. The use of the fiction for the purpose of portraying the other face of the freedom has introduced the poignant and powerful narratives and has triggered lively discussions that go beyond the limited terrain explored so far. The present work is an attempt to recover the marginalized voices through the medium of creative writings. Link - //