Glimpses of Partition in South Asian English fiction A critical re-interpretation focuses on one particular genre of literature: Partition literature.
Partition has been a recurrent theme in Indian English fiction, with a new perspective on the event emerging in each succeeding decade. If the struggle for freedom against the British was an all-pervasive emotional experience for all Indians living at the time, then the Partition of the country was a defining moment both in the life of the newly created nation as well as that of its citizens. Partition, in the minds of writers, no longer remained just a cataclysmic event that needed to be recorded, but more a phenomenon to be explored and theorized that informed and defined the social, political, cultural and religious realities on the Indian subcontinent.
The partition of India and the associated bloody riots inspired many creative minds in India and Pakistan to create literary and cinematic depictions of this event. While some creations depicted the massacres during the refugee migration, others concentrated on the aftermath of the partition. Khushwant Singh, Manohar Malgaonkar ,Anita Desai , Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh ,Bapsi Sidhwa, Attia Hossain, Shauna Singh Baldwin etc voiced the memories of pain suffered in those times, of the splits that fractured and re- fractured the subcontinent, the remembrance of the scale and the intensity of the human suffering that the partition caused. This anthology is an attempt to explore and re-interpret the works of these major novelist by providing a glimpse into their works to see Partition as not only interesting and unique moment, but also extremely significant as it raises some of the most profound questions about Indian politics regarding the issues of nationalism and secularism, the politics of religion and language, and the failures of 1947.