The Great Partition : The Making of India and Pakistan Paperback
by Yasmin Khan
The Partition of India in 1947 promised its people both political and religious freedom--through the liberation of India from British rule, and the creation of the Muslim state of Pakistan.
Instead, the geographical divide brought displacement and death, and it benefited the few at the expense of the very many.
Thousands of women were raped, at least one million people were killed, and ten to fifteen million were forced to leave their homes as refugees.
One of the first events of decolonization in the twentieth century, Partition was also one of the most bloody.
In this book Yasmin Khan examines the context, execution, and aftermath of Partition, weaving together local politics and ordinary lives with the larger political forces at play.
She exposes the widespread obliviousness to what Partition would entail in practice and how it would affect the populace.
Drawing together fresh information from an array of sources, Khan underscores the catastrophic human cost and shows why the repercussions of Partition resound even now, some sixty years later. The book is an intelligent and timely analysis of Partition, the haste and recklessness with which it was completed, and the damaging legacy left in its wake.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 250 pages, 16 black-&-white illustrations
- Publisher: Yale University Press
- Publication Date: 08/08/2008
- Category: Asian history
- ISBN: 9780300143331
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Review by RajivC
A well written book on the whole. This book takes a relatively unusual tack, in that it does not focus very much on the 'great leaders' of those times, but focusses a bit more on what happened on the ground, so to speak. It is the telling of an awful tale, a tale in which hundreds of thousands were killed and mutilated; a tale of the times when millions were displaced. People do not often think that freedom can sometimes be an awful thing, and this is exactly what it must have been for many. What could have made the book stand out, for me, is if she had analysed the factors - and the effects - of the social transformation of the time. People identified themselves with their region, and not so much along religious lines. This changed. There are lessons in this, which we would do well to remember.