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Beyond PartitionGender, Violence, and Representation in Postcolonial India$
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Deepti Misri

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038853

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038853.001.0001

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Anatomy of a Riot

Anatomy of a Riot

Vulnerable Male Bodies in Manto and Other Fictions

(p.25) 1 Anatomy of a Riot
Beyond Partition

Deepti Misri

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines gendered violence against men, which, unlike other violations such as rape, abduction, and looting, has been largely forgotten in popular memorializations of Partition. It focuses mainly on writer Saadat Hasan Manto's fictional response to the violence of Partition, Black Marginalia (1948), exploring the techniques by which he narrowly focuses the reader's gaze on the forms of male-on-male violence and evidentiary procedures used by warring religious mobs in the Partition riot. However, despite Manto's brilliant deconstruction of the logic of the communal riot, the chapter questions some aspects of his secular critique of such violence, particularly in the melodramatic tale “Mozail,” where the Sikh male figure's investments in the markers of his faith are presented merely as dogmatic and superficial.

Keywords:   Partition riot, gendered violence, Saadat Hasan Manto, Black Marginalia, religious mobs, communal riot, Mozail

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