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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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The Violence of Memory

The Violence of Memory

Women’s Re-narrations of the Partition

Chapter:
(p.55) 2 The Violence of Memory
Source:
Beyond Partition
Author(s):

Deepti Misri

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252038853.003.0003

This chapter focuses on a set of women's narrations regarding the patriarchal memorializations of Partition and uncovers a widely disavowed form of violence against women: the preemptive killing of women by their own male family members as part of preserving community honor. It begins with Krishna Mehta's recently republished memoir, Kashmir 1947, showing how a “woman's account” of such violence does not serve automatically to interrogate patriarchal memorializations. Yet, a close reading may demonstrate its potential to destabilize the narrative of “death before dishonor.” Against Mehta's Hindu and nationalist narrative, the chapter analyzes the minority perspective of Sikh Canadian writer Shauna Singh Baldwin's novel What the Body Remembers, which reveals how the dismembered body in the text figures an ideological continuity across competing communal patriarchies.

Keywords:   violence, women, patriarchal memorializations, community honor, Krishna Mehta, Kashmir 1947, Shauna Singh Baldwin, What the Body Remembers

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