Feminist interruptions: The silence of East Bengal in the story of partition

Abstract: Using a feminist episteme I examine the exclusion of the East Bengal/East Pakistan experience in constructions of contemporary narratives of Partition. Including the double colonialism of East Bengal, its particular location in the ethnic and religious hierarchies of the region, and the simultaneity of separation and violence as well as freedom and social mobility challenges the emergent meta-narrative of violence by contributing a contradictory interpretation of the Partition experience. This more complicated, contradictory interpretation extends the important rethinking that accompanies the critique of elitist, state-centred histories of the period and the inclusion of women's voices in Partition analyses. Particular attention is given to how extant circumstances in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh contribute to the erasure of the East Bengal voice from contemporary debates.

Shelley Feldman
Taylor and Francis Online