India-Pakistan : Partition Perspectives in Indo-English Novels

V. Pala Prasada Rao. Edited by K. Nirupa Rani and Digumarti Bhaskara Rao, Discovery, 2004, 103 p, ISBN : 8171417663, $13.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

India-Pakistan : Partition Perspectives in Indo-English Novels/V. Pala Prasada Rao

Contents: Preface. 1. An historical perspective of partition. 2. Train to Pakistan. 3. Azadi. 4. Tamas. 5. Ice-candy man (Cracking India). 6. Final appraisal. Bibliography. Index.

"With the announcement of partition in 1947, the Indian sub-continent moved away from the unique ideal of non-violence. The partition holocaust wrought havoc on all as communalism made people go berserk. The tragic and momentous event has stirred the creative imagination of many an Indian English writer. However, Kushwant Singh's train to Pakistan, Chaman Nahal's Azadi, Bhisham Sahni's Tamas and Bapsi Sidhwa's Ice Candy Man have been chosen for the thematic study of partition theme with an intention to encompass variegated perspectives.

This thematic study is divided into six chapters. The very first chapter, an historical perspective of partition, seeks to explore and unravel the breakdown of inter-communal networks and, most importantly, addresses a larger historical question-national leaders' failure to realise a united India. This fair sized historical perspective in indispensable because the novels have been cast against the backdrop. The subsequent four chapters, named after the novels, are intended to study the thematic paradigm of partition-theme. In the second chapter, Train to Pakistan, the disintegration of social mores with the advent of partition has been brought out. In the third chapter, Azadi, partition has been viewed as the leaders' collective failure and the Raj's studied indifference to ease up the communal tangle. The fourth chapter, Tamas, evinces the beguiling impact of communal forces hell-bent on whipping up the Frenzy. The fifth chapter, Ice-Candy Man, has been mainly seen as a study of minority complex. The last chapter sums up the generalizations that have been inferred." (jacket)

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