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Title: Meanings of partition : production of postcolonial India and Pakistan
Author: Svensson, Ted
ISNI:       0000 0004 0214 0234
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis constitutes an attempt to conceptualise the partition and independence of India and Pakistan in terms of rupture and novelty. The event or transition, which formally occurred in August 1947, is analysed as a rare moment of openness and undecidability. It is argued that a study of the so-called transfer of power—and of the inclusion of the notions of 'Partition‘ and 'Independence‘ as key elements of Indian and Pakistani nation building—ought to contain a recognition of the active labour by the political elites to overwrite the abyssal and ambiguous character of becoming independent and postcolonial. A second argument is that this overwriting was, necessarily, partial, i.e. it left certain groups and subject positions to populate the margins and the in-betweens of citizenship and national identity. The principal implication of the thesis‘ pro-posed theorising is that we need to adopt a new approach to the study of the partition of British India and the ensuing nation and state building; an approach that is sensitive to the constitutive contingency, and the forceful closure of it, which was contained in the moment of transition. In doing the above, the thesis critically engages with literature on the various and multi-layered levels of violence that were inscribed into the politics of belonging. Special attention is, in some parts, devoted to the Indian case. Partly in order to contest some of the sedimented assumptions regarding how to conceive the events in the late 1940s and the early 1950s; partly as a consequence of the primary material that underpins much of the reasoning. In order to demonstrate the above-mentioned uncertainty—both regarding the future trajectory of statehood and what independence actually signified—that the political elites, but also other sections of the two societies, was confronted with, the thesis is to a significant degree the product of archival research carried out at the National Archives of India and at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. It, in addition, draws on a close reading of the Constituent Assembly debates in both India and Pakistan.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DS Asia ; JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration