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Exploring the Hindu/Muslim Divide through the Partition of Bengal

Abstract: In this paper we shall explore the move from localised to politicised identities in Bengalisociety and evidence how religious affiliation became a central consideration within thisshift. Te growth of communalism, we shall argue, has much to do with the colonialstrategy of establishing separate electoral systems for Hindus and Muslims, cementingthe separation between these religious groupings. Our critical interest centres around thePartition of Bengal, and we shall employ memoirs and literary texts, written in Bengaliand translated into English, so as to elucidate upon the complexities of the Hindu/Muslimrelationship. We shall argue that the unresolved issues of Partition still cast their shadow oncontemporary India, and shall draw connections between past and present manipulationsof religious identities for expedient political ends.

Maurice O'Connor
Universidad de Cádiz, Tis essay was funded by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, Spain. ProjectFFI2015-63739-P: “Te Aesthetics of Remembering: Empathy, Identification, Mourning”.