Listening for Echoes: Partition in Three Contexts

The experience of partition as a political and territorial separation of groups and societies is shared by a number of states in contemporary times. As many societies have been shaped in significant yet uniquely different ways by partition, this essay examines its relevance in facilitating conversations across cultures. In moving beyond contexts and cultural specificities, this essay searches for comparative insights and approaches with the potential for fruitful dialogue. The authors suggest that the shared experience of partition could provide the incentive to search for and facilitate "listening for echoes" that connect the diverse settings of India-Pakistan, Israel-Palestine and Germany. The theme illustrates the range and complexity of analytical challenges for the disciplines of social anthropology and sociology.

Smita Tewari Jassal
Eyal Ben-Ari
Economic and Political Weekly