- アジア・アフリカ地域研究 (ISSN:13462466)
- vol.2, pp.281-291, 2002
A central purpose of this research note is to examine the way in which recent studies of the Partition of India have begun to focus on people's experiences and perceptions of this event and, in particular, the massive violence that surrounded it. It shows how, in this process of reconsidering Partition, some historians have begun to criticise the existing history-writings based on the nationalist discourse, which analysed only political developments among parties and politicians. To understand this new approach to Partition, it is necessary to look at the development of South Asian historiography from the 1980s, and more especially, important debates presented by the scholars of the so-called subaltern studies group on the 'fragments', 'oppressed voice' and 'silence' in history-writings. Some of these scholars, in order to discover where 'silence' lies, began to explore how memory of events was constructed and reconstructed by different groups of people, by interviewing them and comparing their narratives with each other and with other narratives in official documents and history books. This method is adopted by scholars such as Gyanendra Pandey and Urvashi Butalia in their works on Partition and violence. Another source that has played an important role in drawing scholars' attention to popular perceptions of Partition and violence is a wide range of literary texts and films which depict this event. They have highlighted the hidden stories of violence and the 'silence' in official histories, and recently begun to attract increasing attention from historians. Here I introduce mainly Amitav Ghosh's novel The Shadow Lines (1988) as an example. Taking a hint from it, at the end of this paper I suggest a few important aspects of Partition that still need to be explored.