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Borders and Boundaries: Women in India's Partition

 
Kamla Bhasin (Author) Ritu Menon (Author)
Synopsis In 1947 India was simultaneously freed--and divided. The departure of the British was accompanied by a bloody partition in which one million people perished and over ten million were displaced in the largest peace-time mass migration this century has recorded. Borders and Boundaries attempts a feminist reading of partition providing, for the first time, testimonies and memories of women caught in the turmoil of the time. The authors make women not only visible, but central, by looking at the general experience of violence , dislocation and displacement from a gendered perspective. Interviews with women--survivors, social workers, government functionaries--form the core of the book, supplemented by a narrative based on documents, confidential reports, parliamentary debates, letters and diaries. The women's accounts are vivid with memories of loss and violence, the experience of abduction and widowhood, of rehabilitation and, sometimes, even liberation. The counterpointing of their voices with others, official and non-official, highlights the relationship between women, communities and the state; between women and their families; and between women and their men. The authors explore what country, nation and religious identity mean for women, and address the question of the nation-state and the gendering of citizenship. Their analysis lays bare the multiple patriarchies of community, family and state as experienced by women in their transition to freedom, and examines the deep complicities between them. But the women themselves are far from being victims: in telling their stories they interrogate not only the history we know but how we know it, and thereby compel a different reading of it.
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About the author

Ritu Menon

Ritu Menon is a published and writer. She is co-author of Borders and Boundaries: Women in India’s Partitioin, and of Unequal Citizens: A Study of Muslim Women in India: and editor, Unmaking the Natioin.

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Bibliographic information

Title Borders and Boundaries: Women in India's Partition
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.1998
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Kali for Women
Language: English
isbn 8186706003
length xiii+274p., 23cm.