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The Subaltern Speaks The Construction of Marginal Identities in Selected Films on Partition of India

Recognising the excruciating pain and trauma the Partition of India has newlinecaused to the lives of the millions of people in the Indian sub-continent, the present newlinethesis embarks on to study a hitherto unexplored area concerning Partition studies, newlinee.g., construction of marginal identities in Partition films. The present thesis newlinecontends that the selected Partition films that I taxonomise as Subaltern Partition newlineCinema as a distinct voice from the mainstream Bollywood cinema, depict Partition newlinehistory in a radically different way than that of the official, colonialist and nationalist newlinehistoriographies, giving voice to the subalterns of Indian Partition; like women, newlineDalits, minorities, and refugees. Taking Rosenstone s views on the relationship newlinebetween film and history as a springboard, it considers cinema as a significant newlinemedium to engage with Partition history, and attempts to foreground how cinematic newlinenarratives and practices can be vital resources for rethinking Partition history. newlineSubaltern Studies methodology has been used to demarginalise the subaltern newlineexperience in the selected film texts; an attempt is made to study the structure and newlinedynamics of film language concerned with the representations of history, memory, newlineviolence (abduction, rape, killing), in the selected films. The methodology of the newlineresearch work involves an in-depth mise-en-scene analysis and other formal newlineaspects of film semiotics wherever possible. The thesis attempts to retrieve the newlinesubaltern historiography of Partition of India as it emerges from the selected films; newlinev newlinefurther, to see such subaltern revisionings of history as alternative forms of history newlineand as counter-narratives to the perspectives of mainstream history. The analysis newlineof the sufferings of the subaltern identities as portrayed in the selected films entails newlinea critique of the communal nationalisms in South Asia. The post-Partition Hindi newlinecinema can be seen as a site of cinematic heterotopia to dispel the dominant newlinenationalistic perceptions about 1947 perpetuated by the conflicting terrain

Barjinder Singh
Central University of Punjab