Partitioned Histories, Divided Identities
This introductory chapter provides an historical and historiographic overview of the Partition Studies. In addition, it makes historiographic connections between post-partition nation building in India and East Pakistan through the establishment of borders, the place of small scale violence, refugee rehabilitation policies in the aftermath of the Partition, and the relationship between the new states and its citizens. It contends that the Partition, rather than being confined to the year 1947, was a long process involving knee jerk policy making on the part of the new states which impacted their minorities citizens differentially and produced multiple categories of identities, some of which acquired documentary validation through the establishment of passports and visas. The chapter engages and situates the book within the new scholarship of Partition argues that Bengal Partition should be central to the understanding of South Asian Partitions, rather than be seen as a regional alternative to the standard Punjab Partition narrative.
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