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The Making of Exile: Sindhi Hindus and the Partition of India

Nandita Bhavnani
Westland and Tranquebar Press
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From Amazon: To date, most books on Partition have ignored or minimised the Sindhi Hindu experience, which was significantly different from the trials of minorities in Punjab or Bengal. The Making of Exile hopes to redress this, by turning a spotlight on the specific narratives of the Sindhi Hindu community. Post-Partition, Sindh was relatively free of the inter-communal violence witnessed in Punjab, Bengal, and other parts of north India. Consequently, in the first few months of Pakistan s early life, Sindhi Hindus did not migrate, and remained the most significant minority in West Pakistan. Starting with the announcement of the Partition of India, The Making of Exile firmly traces the experiences of the community that went from being a small but powerful minority to becoming the target of communal discrimination, practised by both the state as well as sections of Pakistani society. This climate of communal antipathy threw into sharp relief the help and sympathy extended to Sindhi Hindus by other Pakistani Muslims, both Sindhi and muhajir. Finally, it was when they became victims of the Karachi pogrom of January 1948 that Sindhi Hindus felt compelled to migrate to India. The second segment of the book examines the resettlement of the community in India their first brush with squalid refugee camps, their struggle to make sense of rapidly changing governmental policies, and the spirit of determination and enterprise with which they rehabilitated themselves in their new homeland.