1st Edition

In the Shadow of Partition Seventy-Five Years and Beyond

Edited By Nalini Iyer, Debali Mookerjea-Leonard Copyright 2025
    185 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book brings together conversations about the Partition and its haunting residues in the present as represented in literary, visual, oral, and material cultures of the subcontinent and beyond.

    The seventy-fifth anniversary of Partition confronts scholars with significantly new subjects for reflection. The question of historical memory has now largely transformed to one of its reproductions through mass politics and mass media and, perhaps, professional academic inquiry, while the very meaning or value of Independence is in crisis. This edited volume includes chapters on representations of partition experiences and the re-drawing of the subcontinent’s political map. While the impact of the partition of the Punjab has been the focus of much scholarly studies in the past, and Bengal to a smaller extent, this collection extends the examination of the impact of this political event elsewhere in other communities in the subcontinent, and across other differentials.

    This book will be of interest to students, scholars and researchers of Indian history, Partition studies, literature, popular culture and performance, postcolonial studies, and South Asian studies. The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of South Asian Review.

    Introduction: The Partition at 75+

    Nalini Iyer and Debali Mookerjea-Leonard


    1. Grooving on at Seventy-Five: Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Rushdie, and the Indian Muslim’s Ecstatic Return

    Ananya Jahanara Kabir


    2. “Ancestral Voices Prophesying War”: Investigating the Legacy of the 1947 Partition in the 21st-Century Indian Cultural Imagination of Nuclear War

    Souvik Kar and Shuhita Bhattacharjee


    3. Retooling Trauma: Partition as Celebratory Nationalism in Neoliberal Metropolitan Cinema

    Rini Bhattacharya Mehta


    4. Materializing the Memory: The Shawl in Partition Narratives

    Anjali Tripathy


    5. Death and Life in the Bordersand: On the Queer Remembrance of Partition through Geetanjali Shree’s Tomb of Sand

    Weiling Deng


    6. “The Story of Our Shame”: Confronting the Silenced ‘Bihari’ Other in Mahmud Rahman’s “Kerosene”

    Satyendra Singh


    7. Hypereventing History: Ecological and Political Disaster in Bengali Dalit Narratives on Partition

    Samrat Sengupta


    8. Synchronizing the Dalan, Chandal Aesthetics and Namashudrayan in Manoranjan Byapari’s Autobiography Interrogating My Chandal Life

    Praggnaparamita Biswas and Anup Shekhar Chakraborty


    9. Partition in Bangla Little Magazines: Trajectories of Politics and Culture

    Ayan Choudhury and Akshaya K. Rath


    10. Entangled by Borders: Bodies, Citizenship, and Gender in Assam

    Ragini Chakraborty


    11. Descendants of a Difficult Past: Narratives of the Sindhi Partition Refugees in Bangalore

    Aiswarya Sanath and Anjali Gera Roy



    Nalini Iyer is Professor of English at Seattle University and Chief Editor of South Asian Review. Among her numerous publications is the co-edited book Revisiting India’s Partition: New Essays in Memory, Culture, and Politics.


    Debali Mookerjea-Leonard is the Roop Distinguished Professor of English at James Madison University. She is the author of Literature, Gender, and the Trauma of Partition: The Paradox of Independence. She also translates Bengali poetry and fiction, including Sunil Gangopadhyay’s Blood and Bani Basu’s The Continents Between.