Gendering Oral History of Partition: Interrogating Patriarchy

Women's lives in the Punjab, hitherto regulated by strictly set patriarchal norms, saw unexpected and almost drastic change as Partition set in. The motif of Partition has centred on the humiliation and trauma that women encountered and witnessed. While it is true that women were, in countless instances, Partition's ubiquitous victims, in very many ways the chaos and temporality of the post-Partition period allowed several of them to redefine themselves anew. This was not a self-conscious effort, the government too took on the role of "care-giver" but the exercise of "redefinition" questioned the sanctity of old notions and gave several women a new identity altogether.

Anjali Bhardwaj Datta
Economic and Political Weekly