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As we know that the Partition of India is one of the most sensitive subjects in the history of modern South Asia. In fact, lot of research has been done on this subject, and it has also been critically analysed by many historians, too. Therefore, to know, understand, and analyse the various aspects of this subject, many books were written.
Some of the illuminating books which were written on the Partition of India and Pakistan are:
The Great Partition by Yasmin Khan
This book by Yasmin Khan is one of the most famous partition literature work. In this book, she has described everything; from the execution of partition to its aftermath. In fact, Khan also explains how the partition was a carefully devised plan, and layer on she explains the recklessness with which it was implemented. Interestingly, the book also contains some local stories as narrated by the common people which definitely holds the reader throughout.
Midnight's Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India's Partition by Nisid Hajari
This book offers something different and something great. Hajari, in this book, explains how the course of partition took place, and he also showcases how decisions by many leaders were responsible for the Partition. It must be noted that this book offers fresh historical resources which could be unknown to many. So, if you are looking for a book wherein you could get in the details behind the "Great Indian Partition", then you should go for this book.
Borders and Boundaries: How Women Experienced the Partition of India by Kamla Bhasin and Ritu Menon
It is quite evident how a lot of books have been written on Partition, but there are a very few accounts by women, and, this book changes that. This book written by two strong women serves as first-hand accounts and memoirs alongside official government accounts on how the partition of India affected women. The authors make women not only visible but central, too. This book is undoubtedly one of the best books written about partition through a feminist perspective.
Remnants of a Separation: A History of the Partition through Material Memory by Aanchal Malhotra
This book is based on a unique concept, the concept of material objects. In this book, the author writers about various families and how they carried certain objects with them across the border. It must be noted that these belongings absorbed the memory of that particular time and place. Therefore, if you are looking to read stories of multiple families and the history behind the objects they carried with them after the partition then you should give this book a read.
Keyword: Partition, India, Partition, History, Book Recommendations.
As a humanities student, I completely empathize with the freedom struggle and those brave hearts who very intrepid and gallant in their efforts. The usual name that have gone down in the annals of history are typically Bhagat Singh, Mahatma Gandhi, Laxmi Bai, Mangal Pandey etc. but there are so many untold clandestine heroes who were never truly given the limelight and exposure needed to further their martyrdom in the history books that we rad today. As we eschew in our 75th Independence Day, let us take a moment to fondly remember all those who laid down their lives in the fruitless albeit really impactful pursuit to extricate the stranglehold the British Raj had on our lives.
Their jingoism was also at its zenith. Yet nowhere were these fallen people ever mentioned, it is indeed a heartbreaking prospect.
Some of the indomitable heroes who fought relentlessly and tirelessly for our freedom are now given the due credit and mention.
Aruna Asaf Ali
Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi
Peer Ali Khan
Benoy-Badal-Dinesh and many more.
Purely relegated from the mainstream, their contributions were equally important if not more. At least let this 75th be one rife with utmost contemplation and see where we have gone wrong, let us see this as an opportunity to galvanize our fellow people, foster hope, joy and a better future for everybody, stop petty and pedantic strife and religious kerfuffle.
Let us take this article as a laudatory swansong or an ode to these comrades who without any compunction of fearing the loss of their lives gave it away so wholeheartedly and magnanimously if it meant that their fellow cohorts were safe, and they did it. Salute. Vande Mataram. Jai Hind. Mera Bharat mahaan. This has been my first tryst with the legends of our history but it will never be my last. I’m sure there are a multitude more stories of the underdogs who have justly served their nation behind the veneer of the front lines. My heart goes out to all of you. We are here today because of you and we cherish your feats. You all are cut from a different cloth. Minstrels will write songs about you and your fearsomeness.
By Natalia Ningthoujam
Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle have unanimously been deemed melody queens of India for decades, but Asha surprises you when she says music is normally not the preferred topic of discussion between the sisters.
Books have been written on the two legendary singers, so would Asha want things taken to the next level and have someone make a biopic about them?
“Lata Didi and I rarely discuss music. We are a family and we talk of very normal everyday things. Our lives are private and personal, and as far as I’m concerned, I wouldn’t like us to become a topic for a movie,” Asha told IANS.
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They are currently living in different apartments. “She is 90 years old and in peace with her life and surroundings,” she said, about her elder sister.
Asha has been keeping herself busy, even during the lockdown.
“I have been doing my singing, exercising at home, inventing new meals, watching movies, launching my new YouTube channel and above all spending quality time with my family. In other words, I am keeping myself very busy,” said the “Chura liya hai tumne jo dil ko” singer.
She has been composing music too.
“I have composed several tunes but I haven’t written the lyrics. That’s a speciality I may ask Prasoon Joshi and Javed Akhtar to help me out with. Regarding recording the works, I’d like to do so and introduce them on my YouTube channel. I have several great tunes left behind for me by the late shri Rahul Dev Burman,” she said referring to her late husband, who had scored numerous hit compositions from the 1960s to the 1990s.
Amidst the lockdown, Asha recently launched her YouTube channel to communicate with fans and to document several interesting episodes of her life.
“There’s nobody from my generation who can narrate that era anymore. My first song was recorded in British India, in 1943. I have seen the Partition of India and lived through World War II, several epidemics and conflicts. So, there are many tales to tell through my YouTube channel,” said the 86-year-old.
Talking about interesting tales, she reminisced the time spent with actor Rishi Kapoor, who passed away in April this year.
Also Read: A Home where Everyone has their Space
“I have known the Kapoor khandaan (family) from the time of Prithviraj Kapoor ji. All his sons: Raj ji, Shammi ji and Shashi ji were close to me, and Rishi held a very special place for me. He was always there when I needed him. Not only was he a fine actor but a nice person too. Like all the Kapoors, lived life kingsize. He was a regular at Pancham’s residence, listening to music till the wee hours of the morning. He thought I was the best chef in the world. My last meeting with him was at a computer store in Bandra, Mumbai, where we cut a cake together and he asked me to make his favourite kaali daal for him. Saying this, he dashed off to Mehboob Studios for a movie shoot,” she recalled.
Asha will be 87 on September 8, and she wants to explore more in life.
“So much to do and so little time,” she signed off. (IANS)
BY SAEED NAQVI
Since the word “Partition” has figured in the discourse on CAA, NCR, NPR the mind turns towards Maulana Azad, who was fiercely opposed to the country’s division. By a coincidence, next month, February 22, happens to be the 61st death anniversary of Maulana Azad. Exactly 30 years after that date, those 30 precious pages of “India Wins Freedom” were taken out of the National Archives which the Maulana had kept away so that all his contemporaries were not around to face embarrassment from the exposures, if any, contained in those pages.
And there were embarrassments galore. The Intelligentsia and the ruling class was disinclined to give much credence to what the Maulana wrote. The absence of debate after the publication of the “complete” edition of “India Wins Freedom” in 1988 was deafening. Nor were threads picked up subsequently in the interest of history. For instance, the Maulana’s assertion that, towards, the end of the negotiations with the British, Sardar Patel appeared to be more convinced of the two-nation theory than Jinnah, deserves to be noted. Rebut it, if need be. To avoid the brutalities which followed the announcement of the Partition plan, an idea was mooted to keep the British Army united.
As a temporary measure, it seemed a sensible idea. But to the Maulana’s surprise, most adamantly opposed to a United Army “even for a day” was the arch pacifist Rajendra Prasad. His opposition was conditioned by a fear that a United Army would remain an “unfinished” business of Partition. And who knows how long this “unfinished business” would linger. What if a United Army becomes a pressure point for reversing Partition? The eagerness to hold onto Partition is manifest in the behaviour of a long list of leaders. The Maulana describes in detail how Sardar Patel had convinced even Mahatma Gandhi that Partition was the best course under the circumstances.
Just as it is today, Assam was the key state in focus in 1946-47. The crucial role it is playing today in the CAA, NRC discourse is not surprising. Fired by sub nationalism and cultural pride, Chief Minister Gopinath Bordoloi enlisted Mahatma Gandhi’s support in rejecting the Cabinet Mission proposal yoking Assam with Bengal in what was described as zone C in the Mission’s plan. The country was to be stabilized under groups: A, B and C.
The Cabinet Mission’s was the last effort to keep India united. It was endorsed by the Congress on July 7, 1946. But two surprising events made Partition inevitable. One was Assam’s firm rejection of being grouped with Bengal. It feared then as it does now, of being inundated with migration. Second was the new Congress President, Jawaharlal Nehru’s fateful press conference in Mumbai on July 10. Nehru declared that all that had been agreed with the Cabinet Mission and Jinnah, would have to be ratified by a constituent assembly. This stipulation was not in the agreement. Little wonder Jinnah picked up the marbles and walked out of the game. Partition became inevitable.
The Maulana’s opposition to Partition was absolute. He was eloquent about the cultural commerce of over 1,100 years which he always described as his heritage. “We handed over our wealth to her (Bharat) and she unlocked for us the door of her own riches.” He was unambiguous: “Partition would be unadulterated Hindu Raj.” In the light of experience, was he wrong? Was Partition the Congress’s gift to the Hindu right? A Muslim country next door to be hated in perpetuity. An unresolved problem of Muslim majority Kashmir. A 200 million Muslim population — a lethal mix for dedicated Hindu Rashtra Bhakts — all under the canopy of global Islamophobia.
If Pakistan was so much against the interests of Muslims themselves as the Maulana never tired of saying, why should such a large section of Indian Muslims be swept away by its lure? The Maulana’s response to this query was unique:
“The answer is to be found in the attitude of certain communal extremists among the Hindus. When the Muslim League began to speak of Pakistan, they (Hindus) began to read into the scheme a sinister pan Islamic conspiracy. They opposed the idea out of the fear that it foreshadowed a combination of Indian Muslims with trans-Indian Muslim states. This fierce opposition acted as an incentive to the adherents of the League. With simple though untenable logic, they argued that if Hindus were so opposed to Pakistan, surely, it must be of benefit to Muslims. Reason was impossible in an atmosphere of emotional frenzy thus created.” Is the ogre of three Muslim majority states a continuation of the line the Maulana had spotted 75 years ago?
He was convinced that the “chapter of communal differences was a transient phase of Indian Life.” “Differences would persist just as opposition among political parties will continue but, it will be based not on religion but on economic and political issues.”
Nehru’s last interview with Arnold Michaelis in May, 1964, shortly before his death is revealing. First, he dismisses Jinnah almost as a non entity in the freedom struggle. “He was not in the fight for freedom.” In fact, the Muslim League was set up by the British to “Divide us”. He said he, like Gandhiji and others, were opposed to Partition. “Then why did you accept Partition?” Michaelis asks. Nehru’s reply is cryptic.
“I decided it was better to part than to have constant trouble.” The trouble Nehru refers to was clearly the continuous bickering between the Congress and Muslim League in the interim government of 1946. Obviously, Nehru was exasperated by the apparent incompatibilities in the interim government. While giving vent to his exasperation, did India’s first Prime Minister spare a thought for the minorities, primarily Muslims, 200 million at current reckoning who were riveted on him as their leader. Maulana Azad spelt out exactly what their fate would be. And surprising though it is, the Maulana was nowhere near Nehru’s charismatic hold on a community which learnt only in retrospect that they had been let down by the leader they adored. (IANS)