Partition As Memory: Construing Women Narratives
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Writing about partition is a form of collective memory, and it has aroused the interest of a number of authors.Partition literature delineates the stings of partition with empathy as well as sympathy. When reading history of India's partition, one notices that the live stories of women are frequently omitted. Although portrayed within the framework of a secular, liberal democratic society, the contextual of India's partition produced through official documents, transfer of power, and constitutional history was rife with gender, religious, caste, and class biases. Women writers writing on partition history have begun to dismantle the ostensibly gender-neutral discourse of this history through the use of alternate source materials like as personal testimonials, autobiographies, and interviews with persons affected by it. The motivation for demolishing a homogenized partition history is to highlight the agony and suffering of women.
Women writers selected in this study have voiced the sentiments and sufferings of women during Partition in their narratives. These writers effectively trace the painful exodus that followed the announcement of partition, the separation of life long friends and relatives, the reluctance of people to leave their homes and the travails the displaced refugees faced while making their way to India. They have tried to show how women were reduced merely as bodies, carrying the burden of honor of their community. Through their female characters these women novelists have tried to emphasize the social, physical, emotional, psychological and cultural effects of holocaust of partition on lives of women. They have intoned the female side of history to Partition literature by focusing the female stories at the centre of their narratives.