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Independence, Partition and Gendered Violence

Abstract:This paper seeks to analyse the causes of sectarian violence against women which are rooted in the history of the partition of the country during independence and patriarchal attitudes which continue to dominate society. That this violence was gendered is a fact largely ignored by recorded historyal though it appears as a recurrent theme in the fictional narratives of the partition. Recent woman-centric works by scholars like Urvashi Butalia, Ritu Menon, Kamla Bhasin and others have now provided a factual base for the fictional narratives which reveal the nexus behind patriarchal values and communal violence in which women become the nameless victims. Hence, the paper emphasizes the importance of these works in any assessment of sectarian violence against women. It also shows how the violence becomes gendered as a result of dominant patriarchal attitudes which have not changed significantly since independence.

Bonani Chatterjee
An International Journal of World Literatures and Cultures