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The Long Partition and the Making of Modern South Asia – Refugees, Boundaries, Histories (Cultures of History) Paperback – 20 Apr 2010
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A deeply moving account of the contingent category of the no-questions-asked natural citizen within the Indian and Pakistani nation-states, at birth and in their long, postnatal condition. The hurriedly-fixed national boundaries here both necessitate and entice, contain and penalize crossings. Zamindar richly documents how for some minority groups travel, kinship ties, and a national longing have to be continually bared to lay claim to citizenship within a multireligious dispensation. An unsettling work, which breaks through the chalk circles that circumscribe the retellings of 'our' separate national pasts. -- Shahid Amin, author of Writing Alternative Histories: A View from India A remarkable exercise of ethno-history from below. In addition to official sources, Zamindar has collected testimonies in archives and interviewed survivors of Partition to offer an original and significant chronicle of the nation-making process in both India and Pakistan. -- Christophe Jaffrelot, author of The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian politics: 1925-1990s This is a significant and path-breaking book and is likely to become the standard study of the subject. It will be cited authoritatively or be argued with for some time to come. -- Aamir Mufti, author of Enlightenment in the Colony: The Jewish Question and the Crisis of Postcolonial Culture Zamindar puts together a history that helps clarify the story of partition and makes clear that there were no easy solutions. -- Lucian W. Pye Foreign Affairs A significant contribution... Highly recommended. Choice Sets a new standard for historians, anthropologists, and political scientists interested in the cleavages wrought by bureaucratic efforts to create, extend, or redefine modern territorial states... It is not the only book on the partition of India and Pakistan to emerge in recent years. But it is surely one of the best. -- Matthew J. Nelson Asian Affairs Zamindar's analysis... is remarkable for what it has to say about India and Pakistan, but valuable too because it brings Partition back into the mainstream of 20th-century history. -- Siddhartha Deb London Review of Books Extraordinary human violence and mass displacements call for unusual skills of retelling and witnessing. Zamindar has these in plenty and has given us a redeeming social history that is not merely rich in ethnographic detail and biography but offers a reflexive methodology that passionately demonstrates why modern states are always complicit when it comes to holocaust and genocide. -- Harjot Oberoi Pacific Affairs This book is one of the most brilliant and nuanced of the many works about the Partition of South Asia that have emerged in recent years. -- Yasmin Khan Journal of Interdisciplinary History Zamindar's study stands out for the originality of its conception and its importance in making sense of this seminal event. -- David Gilmartin H-Asia Zamindar's work deepens the understanding ofthe effects of the Partition. -- Pramod K. Srivastava Oral History Review [A]uthor Zamindar provides a fascinating narrative of Southern Asia in the twentieth century with an educational and thoughtful read. Midwest Book Review
About the Author
Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar is assistant professor of history at Brown University.
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