Independence, Partition and Gendered Violence

Abstract:This paper seeks to analyse the causes of sectarianviolence against women which are rooted in the history of the partition of the country during independence and patriarchalattitudes which continue to dominate society. That this violencewas gendered is a fact largely ignored by recorded historyalthough it appears as a recurrent theme in the fictional narrativesof the partition. Recent woman-centric works by scholars likeUrvashi Butalia, Ritu Menon, Kamla Bhasin and others have now provided a factual base for the fictional narratives which revealthe nexus behind patriarchal values and communal violence inwhich women become the nameless victims. Hence, the paperemphasizes the importance of these works in any assessment ofsectarian violence against women. It also shows how the violence becomes gendered as a result of dominant patriarchal attitudeswhich have not changed significantly since independence.

Bonani Chatterjee
An International Journal of World Literatures and Cultures