chapter  17
10 Pages


Memories and meanings
WithSugata Bose, Ayesha Jalal

The meanings and memories of 1947 have been suffused by charge and countercharge of polemicists, whether the apologists of empire, or the embattled propagandists of official nationalism, Indian and Pakistani alike. A balanced and thoughtful reappraisal of the memories and meanings of 1947 as well as the history and mythology surrounding partition can go a long way in promoting informed dialogue and understanding among the peoples of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The gap between meanings and memories of partition has been quite as wide in India. The memories and meanings of 1947 proved least traumatic for the erstwhile colonial rulers, despite some early manifestations of withdrawal symptoms. The scars of partition have proven to be deeper than the healing touch of independence from colonial rule. The historians' critique of over-centralized state monoliths of the colonial and post-colonial era must avoid the trap of uncritically celebrating the community or the fragment.