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'They Don’t Call Us Indian': Indian Muslim Voices and the 1947 India/Pakistan Partition

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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One of the characteristics of much of the existing scholarship about the India/Pakistan partition of 1947 is that it usually privileges the refugee experience as the quintessential partition experience. The voices that are heard most prominently are of those who migrated. As a consequence, an unacceptably large proportion of partition scholarship has reflected the hegemonic binary of a Hindu India, and an Islamic Pakistan. This chapter has been conceptualised as a response to this. Listening to Indian Muslim voices helps to complicate the image of the partition refugee – the ones who migrated, the ones who didn’t, and the ones who returned. The way they narrate their memories of 1947 will also challenge India’s claims to secularism. How Indian Muslims have been forced to deal with a neighbouring Islamic Pakistan should be seen, I argue, as an indictment of the postcolonial, post-partition Indian nation-state.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHistory, Historians and the Immigration Debate
Subtitle of host publicationGoing Back to Where We Came From
EditorsEureka Henrich, Julian M. Simpson
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)9783319971230
ISBN (Print)9783319971223
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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