Moving Memories: Remembering, and Forgetting, the Partition of Bengal Between South Asia and the UK

Jasmine Hornabrook, Clelia Clini, Emily Keightley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Suranjan Das observes that the formal documentary media of newspapers, pamphlets and journals, as controlled by the Hindus and Muslims during Partition, formed a separate genre of “propaganda literature”. They disseminated unverified accounts of communal violence. Ranajit Guha notes that the circulation of rumour plays a vital role in creating misplaced notions about larger and intangible politics. As a political hearsay travels from the centre to the margin, it picks up traits, such as “anonymity,” “cognitive unclarity” and “plasticity that enables it to undergo transformations similar to … those which occur, according to Propp, in fairy tales” (Guha, “Transmission” 261). Based on these studies, the chapter examines the crossing-points between official history and memorialisation, as they appear in Sunanda Sikdar’s memoir Doyamoyeer Katha. Situated against the backdrop of the immediate post-Partition decades in Bengal, Doyamoyeer Katha is a story of a passage told from the perspective of Sikdar’s childhood persona Doya. The first part of the chapter looks at the formation of an alternative account in the text, which happens at the interface of the macro social schema and the subaltern psyche. The second part of the discussion argues that the narrative style of Doyamoyeer Katha follows the pre-modern Katha literary tradition.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Long History of Partition in Bengal
Subtitle of host publicationEvent, Memory, Representations
EditorsRituparna Roy, Jayanta Sengupta, Sekhar Bandyopadhyay
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781003851899, 9781003317210
ISBN (Print)9781032309132, 9781032328911
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2024

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