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Sharing the SacredPracticing Pluralism in Muslim North India$
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Anna Bigelow

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195368239

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195368239.001.0001

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Chapter 4. Partition and Beyond: Peace, Politics, and the New India

Chapter 4. Partition and Beyond: Peace, Politics, and the New India

(p.123) Chapter 4. Partition and Beyond: Peace, Politics, and the New India
Sharing the Sacred

Anna Bigelow (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

According to all available sources (archives and interviews), no one in Malerkotla was killed in the interreligious violence of Partition, and most of the Muslim population remained. Explanations for this situation draw on Malerkotla’s particular history, selectively referencing certain events, such as the blessing of Haider Shaikh or the Sikh Guru Gobind Singh, to construct a coherent narrative for what otherwise appears as a gross aberration from the Partition experience of most Punjabis. In combination, these explanations are often contradictory or even mutually exclusive, and yet the range and variety of accounts form a web of meaning that allows everyone access to the grand narrative. Through continual repetition and reinforcement this metanarrative of peace becomes a hegemonic discourse, silencing opposition and dominating all accounts of Malerkotla.

Keywords:   Partition, Punjab, narrative history, Indian Muslims, Indian independence

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