By Richard L. Benkin
In Bangladesh, however, there is a knee-jerk tendency to conflate being an Israeli with being a Jew; and I am Jewish so, ipso facto, that makes me a potential Mossad agent in many Bangladeshi minds. I like being associated with Israel, love Israel and admire the nation and its people; it’s just that I am not an Israeli. I am Jewish, which for many Bangladeshis in and out of the government, equates to being Israeli; and the accusation is not meant as a compliment.
Posts tagged ‘Bangladesh’
By Richard L. Benkin
Contents - India at 70: The Many Partitions (Issue 38)
By Bhaswati Ghosh
By Subhasri Ghosh
Whereas in Punjab, the actual occurrence of widespread violence prompted the exodus, in Bengal it was often more of hearsay that prompted people to leave. However, it will be a denial of truth to dismiss the existence of explicit violence in Bengal. The most pronounced evidence of post-Partition violence of an explicit nature occurred three years after Partition in 1950, when riots scarred large parts of East Bengal, primarily Barisal, with the echo being felt in the industrial suburbs of Calcutta.
By Binayak Dutta and Suranjana Choudhury
Until recently, in terms of narratives of partition and post-partition displacement, northeast India still remained a much unexplored tract. Though some sporadic scholarship exists on Sylhet partition, they are mostly devoid of popular ongoing experiences that Partition really brings. Partition as divorced from transfer of power was a story of anxiety and pain, which most studies do not engage with. Thus this region continues to languish as an unacknowledged site of Partition experience.
By Bhumika R
Zorami, a Mizo novel in English by Malsawmi Jacob, narrates the traumatic period of the 1960s in Mizoram, which witnessed famine, apathy of the Indian government, assertion of nationalist consciousness by the Mizos, the use of military power by the Indian state in retaliation to Mizos’ assertion of their sovereignty, shifts in the nature of the Mizo Nationalist movement and the lives of those who witnessed these events. The novel re-tells stories of everyday lives of common people and their negotiations with history.
By Susan Haris
There is little to no literature on how Partition as an event that took place in 1947 affected the animal kingdom – especially the domesticated ones such as cows, goats, dogs, and hens. Their value is perhaps too trivial for scholarship against large-scale human massacres and bloodshed. But that would be an unjust rendering for organisms who cohabitate with humans. The figure of the dog is particularly interesting, for the relationship between the dog and his owner or ‘master’ is predicated upon a personal relationship, not an instrumental one.
By Ahmad Zaboor
The alienation of Kashmir is worse than its secession. Vedji’s cogent argument has been that if Kashmir remains friendly as an independent nation, it is a better proposition than staying in the federation by force. At one time, he believed Kashmiri people were reconciled with accession, but the imposition of regressive regimes and undemocratic conditions created by India changed all that. Kashmiris elected one set of people but India put another in power, and they were forced to take guns.
By Nitasha Kaul
The infrastructure in Kashmir is poor and reflects the twin realities of conflict and corruption. Indian soldiers stand with guns right beside slogans that say ‘Indian Dogs Go Back’, or more often ‘Go India, Go Back’. Even the footsoldiers of Indian occupation generally understand that this is a ‘political problem’, which cannot be solved militarily.
By Anindita Chakrabarty
Migration from Bangladesh to India at various epochs is characterized by dynamism and complexity. The divide needs to be contextualized within the centuries-old shared history, an acrimonious partition of territory in 1947 on the basis of religious identity, and the division of Pakistan in 1971, and, subsequently, the emergence of a smaller, less secure state of Bangladesh, surrounded on its three sides by an assertive regional power like India.
Bureaucratizing “choice”: Longing, belonging, and not knowing in the India-Bangladesh exchange of enclaves
By Sahana Ghosh
Since the 2011 survey that conducted a census in all the enclaves, there had been steady rumors about an impending resolution, including the possibility of migrating to India permanently. With that desired future flashing before their eyes, however unknown, the brothers even decided against investing any money in renovating their dilapidated house. The two brothers had taken leave from their contractual job in a steel rod manufacturing company to be present in Banshpachai during the survey and arrive at a consensus within the family.
By Debjani Sengupta
By 1951, my father had managed to find himself a livelihood; he had reclaimed the city. When he first came to the city in 1940, he had lived in a ‘mess-bari’ with his elder brother who worked at the Imperial Library in Central Avenue. But he had not taken to Kolkata much and had decided to leave. However, the city had marked him out as its own. By 1949, the last of his family had come over to this side, never to go back. My grandfather was heartbroken to leave Naranyangunj and complained that the fish and vegetables never tasted the same on this side.
By Priyanka Chatterjee
Ashwin Sanghi unfolds the complex intricacies of the ‘self’ in The Sialkot Saga, where the narrative constantly shifts from myth to history to present day India to fantasy. The action of the novel begins with a horrific description of Partition riots and moves to unfurl the emergence of India of the present times with its tales of progress and regress. The narrative is continuously interspersed with moments from Indian history, ranging from 250 BCE Pataliputra during the reign of Ashoka to 1833 Lahore of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.