Monday, May 17, 2021

Seven books about the Partition of India and Pakistan

Anjali Enjeti is a former attorney, organizer, and award-winning journalist based near Atlanta.

A graduate of Duke University, Washington University School of Law, and the MFA program at Queens University in Charlotte, she teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Reinhardt University.

Enjeti's collection of essays, Southbound: Essays on Identity, Inheritance, and Social Change, and her debut novel The Parted Earth will be published in the spring of 2021.

At Electric Lit Enjeti tagged seven of the best books about the Partition of India and Pakistan, including:
The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India by Urvashi Butalia

This groundbreaking book was one of the first I came across with in-depth firsthand testimonies of Partition survivors. Butalia’s family members were Sikh refugees from Lahore, a city in the new Pakistan, who were forced to escape to India. One of the survivors she interviews is her own uncle who stayed behind. Her family did not have contact with him for 40 years until she reached out.

Butalia is a feminist activist and scholar, and in the book, she highlights the violence against women during Partition. Some 75,000 women were raped, she writes, though some sources put this figure closer to 100,000. In order to keep them from being kidnapped, raped, and converted, men killed the women in their families to “martyr” them. Butalia writes about the fustrating silence around Partition’s gendered violence, and the inaccurate ways it is often described...
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue