"Partitions of South Asia: The Unresolved Questions"

Teacher Training Workshop

Saturday, February 29, 2020, 10:00am – 5:00pm

 
This one-day workshop will examine the fragmentation, pre- and post-1947, of the Indian Subcontinent.  The workshop consists of four sessions on the partition and creation of Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan; the partition of the Punjab; and on the status of Kashmir.  The workshop will feature two one hour lectures in the morning, followed by a discussion period with the first two speakers.  We will break for a one-hour lunch, provided by the South Asia Institute.  In the afternoon, there will be two sessions, each with a lecture and a discussion.
 
Workshop location: The South Asia Institute
Knox Hall, Room 208 (second floor)
606 West 122nd Street
between Broadway and Claremont
 
SCHEDULE
Saturday, February 29
 
9:30am – 10:00am:  Registration with Coffee and Bagels, Muffins, Fruit
 
10:00-11:00am
Title:  “Partitioning Punjab: Space, Identity, and Memory” 
Speaker:  Rajbir S. Judge (Columbia University)
 
In this section, we will examine the Partition of Punjab. First, we will explore how space became an object to be divided. In other words, we will examine how the subcontinent became a homogenous whole that could then be disaggregated and partitioned. In particular, we will focus on the railroad in constructing this unified space. Second, we will examine the differentiation of peoples in this new homogenous space by examining caste and labor. We will do this by considering colonial technologies of rule that categorized and classified the population such as the census and photography, paying close attention to religion and communalism in Punjab. Finally, we will end by exploring the Partition of Punjab, memory, and individual testimonies.  
 
Readings:  
1. Bernard Cohn, “The Census, Social Structure and Objectification in South Asia” in An Anthropologist Among The Historians and Other Essays
2. Kenneth Jones, "Punjab and the North-West" in Socio-Religious Reform Movements in British India
 
11:00am – 12:00pm
Title:  “The Making of Pakistan and the Partition of India”
Speaker:  S Akbar Zaidi (Columbia University)
 
The Partition of colonial India in August 1947, resulted in the creation of Pakistan, and in an independent India. Pakistan consisted of two wings, West and East Pakistan from 1947-71, and after a bloody war East Pakistan became independent Bangladesh. The history of the creation of Pakistan takes place in an alien land, colonial India, where Pakistan’s ‘Freedom Movement’ was undertaken. Many of those who were part of the struggle for an independent Pakistan, both its leaders and those who eventually migrated, were originally resident in the United Provinces of Hindustan and other parts of what eventually became independent India. In many ways, those who migrated, Muslim muhajirs, who made Pakistan their home after 1947, brought a hegemonic language and culture to be imposed on a newly-emergent country. In some ways, those who wanted an independent Pakistan ‘imagined nationality in an alien geography’, bringing with them a history lived in different regions, imposed on new territories.  My presentation will look at how Pakistan came into being, the nature of migration between India and Pakistan after independence/partition, and the consequences of the way partition took place.
 
Readings:  none
 
12:05-12:15pm: Coffee break
 
12:15pm – 1:00pm:  Discussion with Professors Rajbir S. Judge and S. Akbar Zaidi
 
1pm-2pm: Lunch (provided by the South Asia Institute)
 
2:00pm-3:15pm
“Two Partitions and a Divorce: The Ruptures that Paved the Road to Bangladesh”
Speaker:  Elora Shehabuddin (Rice University)
 
Situated on the northeastern corner of the Indian subcontinent and the northern tip of the Bay of Bengal, Bengal was partitioned in 1905 (annulled in 1911) into East and West Bengal, and then, irrevocably, again in 1947, into West Bengal and East Pakistan. In 1971, East Pakistan declared independence and became what is today Bangladesh. The first two ruptures have tended to be presented as the result of religious difference (since western Bengal is predominantly Hindu and eastern Bengal predominantly Muslim), while the separation of East Pakistan from West Pakistan, which together constituted the largest Muslim country in the world in 1947–71, has been celebrated as the victory of a linguistic and secular nationalism over religious identity.
 
My presentation will show how each of these ruptures was, in fact, far more complicated than an exclusive focus on religion and secularism would suggest and how the partitions of 1905 and 1947 paved the way for—but did not make inevitable—the creation of Bangladesh in 1971. I will address to the economic, political, and gendered concerns, resistance to, and consequences pertaining to all three moments; the place of Bengal, its culture, political leaders, and intellectuals, in the larger history of South Asia; and how these three dates have fueled the imagination of writers and filmmakers in the decades since.
 
Readings:
1.  Syed Waliullah, "The Tale of a Tulsi Plant."  The Escape and Other Stories of 1947. Edited by Niaz Zaman.  
2. "Two National Songs" and "Jahanara Imam's Wartime Diary" in "Chapter 10: Bangladesh," Sources of Indian Traditions: Modern India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, Volume 2. 
 
3:15-3:30pm: Coffee Break
 
3:30-4:45pm:   
“Key Moments in the Making of Kashmir Today”
Speaker:  Suvir Kaul (University of Pennsylvania)
 
This talk will survey important events in the making of modern Kashmir in order to understand the genesis and nature of the political and humanitarian crisis in Kashmir today. I will call attention to the role of the British Empire in the creation of the kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir, to the Partition of British India into the independent nation of Pakistan and India, and to the subsequent “problem” of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
 
Reading:  Suvir Kaul, "Indian Empire (and the Case of Kashmir," in Of Gardens and Graves: Kashmir, Poetry, Politics.
 
REGISTRATION
 
Participants must be K-12 teachers, two- or four-year college instructors, or students planning a career in education who are enrolled in, or recent graduates of, a graduate degree program. If you would like to register for either workshop, or have questions, please contact William Carrick at wac2112@columbia.edu.
 
To register, please send an email to <wac2112@columbia.edu> which includes your name, school affiliation, level of students taught, and subjects taught. Students and recent graduates should include their school and degree program, anticipated graduation date, and a very brief statement of career goals.
 
There is no registration fee to attend the workshop. Books and materials will be provided to participants at no cost.
 
For additional information, please contact William Carrick at <wac2112@columbia.edu> or by phone at (212) 854-4565.
 
SPEAKER BIOS
 
Rajbir Singh Judge is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life with affiliations in the Department of Religion and the South Asia Institute at Columbia University in the City of New York.   He earned his PhD in History at the University of California, Davis in 2018.  His research Interests include: History of South Asia, South Asian Religions, Postcolonial Theory, World History, History of Colonialism and Empire ,South Asian and European Intellectual History, Gender and Sexuality, and Sikh Studies.
His current project examines the ways in which Sikhism at the end of the 19th Century remained a generative site through which Sikhs and their diverse milieu in the Punjab contested not only British rule, but the very nature of sovereignty. More broadly, he specializes in the cultural and intellectual history of South Asia, with a particular emphasis on the Punjab. His most recent publications can be found in the Journal of the History of Sexuality and History & Theory.
 
Survir Kaul is the A. M. Rosenthal Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.  At Penn, he has served as the Director of the South Asia Center (2005-07) and as the Chair of the English Department (2007-10).  He received his B. A. (Hons.), M. A., and M. Phil. degrees from the University of Delhi, and his Ph. D. from Cornell University. His first job was at the SGTB Khalsa College in Delhi; since then, he has taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, at Stanford University, and at the Jamia Milia Islamia as a Visiting Professor. He has held post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Canterbury at Kent and at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University.  His research interests include 18th-Century British Literature, Postcolonial Literature and Global Anglophone Drama and Theatre, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Poetry and Poetics, Comparative Race and Empire Studies, and Transatlantic Studies. 
 
He has published four books, Of Gardens and Graves: Essays on Kashmir; Poems in Translation (Three Essays Collective, 2015; Duke University Press, 2016), Eighteenth-century British Literature and Postcolonial Studies (Edinburgh University Press, 2009), Poems of Nation, Anthems of Empire: English Verse in the Long Eighteenth Century (University Press of Virginia, 2000; Oxford University Press, 2001), and Thomas Gray and Literary Authority: Ideology and Poetics in Eighteenth-Century England (Oxford University Press, 1992; Stanford University Press, 1992).  He edited a collection of essays entitled The Partitions of Memory: the afterlife of the division of India (Permanent Black, 2001; C. Hurst, 2001; Indiana University Press, 2002), and coedited (with Ania Loomba, Antoinette Burton, Matti Bunzl and Jed Esty) an interdisciplinary volume entitled Postcolonial Studies and Beyond (Duke University Press, 2005; Permanent Black, 2005).
 
Elora Shehabuddin is Associate Professor of Humanities & Political Science, Rice University.  She received her A.B. in social studies from Harvard University and PhD in politics from Princeton University.  Her doctoral dissertation, “Encounters with the State: Gender and Islam in Rural Bangladesh” was awarded the American Political Science Association's Aaron Wildavsky Dissertation Award for best dissertation in Religion and Politics.  She has served as associate director of Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Rice University and was interim director in the 2011-12 academic year. Prof. Shehabuddin was assistant professor of Women's Studies and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine, before moving to Rice in 2001.  She was a research associate in the Women's Studies in Religion Program at the Divinity School at Harvard University, and has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the American Association of University Women, the Social Science Research Council, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the U.S. Institute of Peace.
 
Prof. Shehabuddin is the author of two books, Reshaping the Holy: Democracy, Development, and Muslim Women in Bangladesh (Columbia University Press, 2008) and Enpowering Rural Women: The Impact of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh (Grameen Bank, 1992).
 
S. Akbar Zaidi is a Professor in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University.  Zaidi earned a PhD from the University of Cambridge. He taught at Karachi University for thirteen years, and was a visiting Professor at Johns Hopkins University in 2004-05.  He has been appointed as a Visiting Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, South Asia Program, Washington DC; Research Fellow, Asia Fellows Programme, at the University of Pennsylvania Institute for the Advanced Study of India; and Visiting Scholar, South Asian Visiting Scholars Programme, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
 
Apart from his interest in political economy, he has research interests in development, the social sciences, and modern South Asian history.  His publications include Political Economy and Development in Pakistan (Rupa & Co., 2010); Military, Civil Society and Democratization in Pakistan (Vanguard Books, 2011);  Issues in Pakistan's Economy (Third Edition, Oxford University Press, 2015).  Prof. Zaidi co-edited the volumes (with  Saba Aslam and Farheen Ghaffar), Misperceptions about India-Pakistan Trade: Beyond Politics, United States Institute of Peace, 2017; and with Matthew McCartney,  New Perspectives on Pakistan's Political Economy: State, Class and Social Change, South Asia in the Social Sciences Series, Cambridge Univ. Press, 2019.
 
REFERENCE MATERIALS PROVIDED AT THE WORKSHOPS
 
Participants will be provided with the following books at the workshops.  Additional readings will be distributed via email and the SAI website.
 
Muslim Zion: Pakistan as a Political Idea.  Faisal Devji.  Harvard University Press, 2013.
 
The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan.  Yasmin Khan.  Yale University Press, 2017.
 
The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India.  Urvashi Butali.  Duke University Press Books, 2000.
 
Sources of Indian Traditions: Modern India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, Volume 2.  Introduction to Asian Civilizations Series, Columbia University Press.  Third edition, 2014
 

SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING

Rafiuddin Ahmed, The Bengal Muslims, 1871–1906: A Quest for Identity (Oxford University Press, 1996)

Jasodhara Bagchi and Subhoranjan Dasgupta, eds., The Trauma and the Triumph: Gender and Partition in Eastern India, vol. 2 (2003)

Ishita Banerjee-Dube, A History of Modern India (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

Shelley Feldman, “Feminist Interruptions: The Silence of East Bengal in the Story of Partition,” Interventions 1:2 (1999), 167–182

Kaushik Ghosh.  “A Market for Aboriginality: Primitivism and. Race Classification in the Indentured Labour Market of Colonial India” in Subaltern Studies X.

David Gilmartin, ‘Partition, Pakistan, and South Asian History: In Search of a Narrative’, The Journal of Asian Studies 57, No 4, November 1998, pp 1068-95

Manu Goswami, "Mobile Incarceration: Travels in Colonial State Space" in Producing India: From Colonial Economy to National Space.  (University of Chicago Press, 2004)

Taj I. Hashmi, Pakistan as a Peasant Utopia: The Communalization of Class Politics in East Bengal, 1920–1947 (Westview, 1992)

Iftekhar Iqbal, “The Space between Nation and Empire: The Making and Unmaking of Eastern Bengal and Assam Province, 1905–1911,” Journal of Asian Studies 74:1 (2015), 69–84

Ayesha Jalal, ‘Conjuring Pakistan: History as Official Imagining’, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 27, 1995, pp. 73-89.

Kenneth Jones. Socio-Religious Reform Movements in British India.  (Cambridge University Press, 1990)

Ahmed Kamal, State Against the Nation: The Decline of the Muslim League in Pre-Independence Bangladesh, 1947–54 (The University Press Limited, 2009)

David Ludden, “Spatial Inequity and National Territory: Remapping 1905 in Bengal and Assam,” Modern Asian Studies 46:3 (2012), 483-525

Neeti Nair.  Changing Homelands: Hindu Politics and the Partition of India.  (Harvard University Press, 2011)

Sumit Sarkar, The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal, 1903–1908 (People’s Publishing House, 1973)

Willem van Schendel, A History of Bangladesh (Cambridge University Press, 2009)

Dina M. Siddiqi, “Left Behind by the Nation: ‘Stranded Pakistanis’ in Bangladesh,” Sites 10:2 (2013), 150–183