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Pedagogy of Indian Partition Literature in the Light of Trauma Theory

Abstract: The mediation, through representations, which gives rise to cultural trauma, sets off 'a dramatic loss of identity and meaning, a tear in the social fabric, affecting a group of people that has achieved some degree of cohesion’. An application of Bon Eyerman’s theory of cultural trauma as it relates to the formation of the Indian and Pakistani identities depends largely on the experiential mediation of the partition violence of 1947 — a mediation which conjoins collective memory and national identity through cultural templates. In Indian historiography, the traumatic memory of 1947 is sanitized through a deliberate forgetfulness of the cataclysm of partition. One way by which the dominant culture codifies its trauma is by domesticating the unspeakable, for example, the normalizing of the familial violence perpetrated upon the Sikh women of Thoa Khalsa in March 1947 in the Delhi gurudwaras.

Beerendra Pandey
Routledge India