Freedom, Trauma, Continuities - Northern India and Independence

Freedom, Trauma, Continuities - Northern India and Independence

Product ID: 7824

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Author: D A Low
Howard Brasted/
Editor(s): D A Low / Howard Brasted
Publisher: Sage Publications
Year: 1998
Language: English
Pages: 237
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8170366801


There is more to the story of Indian independence than protracted negotiations with the British or on the role of political leaders. It is these neglected aspects of the tremendous upheavals that accompanied Indian independence which this important volume explores.

There is a considerable and ever growing body of literature which studies the advent of Indian independence in 1947 and the events surrounding it. Most of these books concentrate on nationalist campaigns to achieve independence or on the protracted negotiations with the British or on the role of political leaders. However, as the contributors to this volume maintain, there was more to the story of Indian independence than that.

First there were the appalling massacres which accompanied the partitioning of the subcontinent. Three aspects are considered: the train killings in the Punjab; images of horror as reflected in the literature; and the abduction of women who were, perhaps, the worst sufferers. The next three essays discuss the ensuing mass migrations; efforts to resettle the refugees in the Punjab, Bengal and Sind; and lingering memories of homes abandoned. The subsequent essay considers the turbulent process of integrating the Princely states into the Indian union.

All this upheaval, argue the contributors, was paradoxically accompanied not by revolution as in Indonesia and Vietnam but by a great many continuities. As the remaining three essays illustrate. Congress state governments took up where they had left off in 1939; the preceding militarization of the Punjab provided the basis of Pakistan’s civil-military state; while Indian big business saw the opportunity to fulfill its previously determined interest.

Focusing as it does on popular perception and the human dimension, this volume significantly widens the perspectives that focus on the crucial decade of the forties in the history of the subcontinent. It will be of considerable interest to a wide audience including historians and political scientists and all those interested in the story of Indian independence.




Digging Deeper: Northern India in the 1940s

August Anarchy: The Partition Massacres in Punjab, 1947

Literature and the Human Drama of the1947 Partition

The Chief Sufferers: Abduction of Women During the Partition of the Punjab

From Displacement to Development
East Punjab Countryside after Partition, 1947-67

Partition, Migration and refugees: Responses to the Arrival
of Muhajirs in Sind During 1947-48

Divided Landscapes, Fragmented Identities: East Bengal
Refugees and their Rehabilitation in India, 1947-79

Remembered Villages: Representations of Hindu-Bengali
Memories in the Aftermath of the Partition

The Integration of the Princely States: A Bloodless Revolution?

Bihar in the 1940s: Communities, Riots and the State

Punjab and the Making of Pakistan; the Roots of a Civil-Military State

G D Birla, Big Business and India’s Partition


About the Editors