Remnants of a separation book

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remnants of a separation book

Remnants of a separation by Aanchal Malhotra | Waterstones

Freedom from the British rule was the triumph of the nationalist movement and the Partition of the subcontinent into India, East Pakistan and West Pakistan was the tragic co-effect of the independence. It took about half a century for Indians to realize that there has been an uncanny silence around the riots that affected millions of people trying to escape to a land of a safer religion or to hold on to the place they felt they had always belonged. There are several accounts of the Partition—historical, imaginative films and literary writings and narrative oral narratives. The Partition Museum in Amritsar Punjab, India hosts a remarkable range of artifacts that have survived from the turbulent times and journeys into India. Historical studies and oral narratives are only now being supplemented with attention to the objects that survive from the exodus caused by the drawing of boundaries. Remnants of a Separation: A History of the Partition through Material Memory by Aanchal Malhotra is another instance of revisiting the Partition through the things that remain.
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Published 02.03.2019

Aanchal Malhotra: Remnants of a Separation

Generations have grown up outside the shadow of the communal killings and mass displacement that shaped the contemporary history of the subcontinent. Despite being born into a family affected by the Divide, artist and oral historian Aanchal Malhotra too had thought little about the Partition until she encountered objects that had once belonged to her ancestors in an Undivided India.

“Remnants of a Separation: A History of the Partition Through Material Memory” by Aanchal Malhotra

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The book is not without its attractions. The author writes effectively in first person, the conversations are genteel and colloquial, and she excels in weaving quotes into a cohesive narrative. She felt no homesickness researching for her book in Lahore, she says, for it appeared as familiar as the Delhi in which she lives.
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A History of the Partition through Material Memory. Maang-tikka brought from D. Seventy years have passed since the Partition, and a landmark event now recedes in memory. Generations have grown up untouched by the horrors of the communal killings and mass displacement that shaped the contemporary history of the subcontinent. The Partition had meant little to artist Aanchal Malhotra too — until she encountered objects that had once belonged to her family in an Undivided India.

In this reverential oral history, artist and historian Malhotra explores the reverberating impact of the brutal partition of India and Pakistan through objects carried across the new border and their Aanchal Malhotra. Remnants of a Separation is a unique attempt to revisit the Partition through objects that refugees carried with them across the border. These belongings absorbed the memory of a time and place, remaining latent and undisturbed for generations. They now speak of their owner's pasts as they emerge as testaments to the struggle, sacrifice, pain and belonging at an unparalleled moment in history.

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