A Partition of Contingency? Public Discourse in Bengal 1946–1947
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The historiography on the Partition of Bengal has tended to see it as a culmination of long term trends Hindu and Muslim communalism within the province. This essay offers a counter narrative to the ‘inevitability’ of the Partition by focusing on Bengali public discourse in the months leading up to the Partition. The possibility of a division generated a large-scale debate amongst the educated in Bengal and they articulated their views by sending numerous letters to leading newspapers, district political and civic organizations and sometimes published pamphlets for local consumption. A critical examination of this public debate for and against Partition reveals the countdown to August 1947 as a period of multiple possibilities. Understanding the genesis provides the starting point and the necessary corrective to evaluate India’s path to post –colonial nationhood.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Humanities. History Section
Modern Asian Studies
Cambridge University Press
HAIMANTI ROY (2009). A Partition of Contingency? Public Discourse in Bengal, 1946–1947. Modern Asian Studies, 43 , pp 1355-1384 doi:10.1017/S0026749X08003788
Author's final manuscript