20 October, 2020

A Liberal's Lament

A 'good Muslim' re-examines the dilemmas posed by Partition

A Liberal's Lament
NO one could have failed to notice that during the year-long celebrations of the golden jubilee of this country's "tryst with destiny" there has been as much writing on the agony of Partition as on the ecstacy of Independence. Nor is this a surprise, given the haunting memories of the horrific butchery on both sides of the subcontinental divide, accompanied by the largest mass migration in peacetime in history.

To this genre of publication, Rafiq Zakaria, a long-time minister in successive Congress governments of Maharashtra and at one time deputy leader of the Congress in Parliament, has made a notable contribution. His book, The Price of Partition, is remarkable not because it makes any startling new disclosures but for several other reasons. The most important of these is that he has written from the perspective of Partition's worst sufferers—the Muslims in the Hindu-majority provinces of British India, most of whom had fought hard for the creation of Pakistan even when they had absolutely no intention of going there. Indeed, one of the great ironies of the...



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