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Partitioned States offers new perspective in the histories of Partition and its aftermath by connecting it to the long, drawn out and skewed formation of new national entities: India and East Pakistan. The book focuses on the Bengal Partition and locates its narrative within the intersection of long term cross border movement, chronic small-scale violence, the emergence of a document regime, and biased national refugee policies, all of which contributed to the formation of national citizenships in India and East Pakistan.

This book argues that minorities -- Hindus in East Pakistan, Muslims in eastern India -- and the discourse over their citizenship and national identity were central to the project of nation building. However, rather than being automatic after 1947, the identity of Indians and Pakistanis were produced, often constructed arbitrarily, through the discretionary powers of lowly officials as through legislation emerging out of parliaments over the next two decades.

The product of several years of archival research in Calcutta, Dhaka, Delhi, and London, Partitioned States is the first to examine the experience of Partition from both sides of the Bengal border. It urges for a rethinking of the Bengal Partition, which continues to inform the contemporary politics of India and Bangladesh. (Publisher's Website)



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From Partitioned Lives: Migrants, Refugees, Citizens in India and Pakistan, 1947-65, by Haimanti Roy. Introduction is made available in the repository in compliance with the archiving policies of the publisher. Permission documentation is on file.


Oxford University Press

Place of Publication

New Delhi, India


Partition, South Asia, historiography, borders, refugees, state-society relations, history, national identity

Link to published version