Borders & Boundaries: Women in India's Partition

Borders & Boundaries: Women in India's Partition

by Ritu Menon, Kamla Bhasin


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book synopsis/description:

IN 1947 India was simultaneously freed and divided. The departure of the British was accompanied by a bloody partition in which one million people perished and over ten million were displaced in the largest peace-time mass migration this century has recorded. Borders & Boundaries attempts a feminist reading of Partition providing, for the first time, testimonies and memories of women caught in the turmoil of the time. The authors make women not only visible, but central, by looking at the general experience of violence, dislocation and displacement from a gendered perspective. Interviews with women survivors, social workers, government functionaries form the core of the book, supplemented by a narrative based on documents, confidential reports, parliamentary debates, letters and diaries. The women's accounts are vivid with memories of loss and violence, the experience of abduction and widowhood, of rehabilitation and, sometimes, even liberation. The counterpointing of their voices with others, official and non-official, highlights the relationship between women, communities and the state; between women and their families; and between women and their men.

About the Authors:
Ritu Menon is a publisher and writer. She is co-editor of In a Minority: Essays on Muslim Women in India, Educating Muslim Girls in India and of Unequal Citizens: A Study of Muslim Women in India and editor, No Woman's Land: Women from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh Write on the Partition of India.

Kamla Bhasin worked with the Freedom from Hunger Campaign of the FAO for over twenty years, and is a well-known gender trainer. She has written extensively on participatory training; on women; and on sustainable development. She has also written many songs on all these issues!

Social Science and Education
Year of Publication:
Women Unlimited
Brand New