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Partitioned LivesMigrants, Refugees, Citizens in India and Pakistan, 1947-65$
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Haimanti Roy

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198081777

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198081777.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 December 2021

The Routine of Violence

The Routine of Violence

(p.147) 5 The Routine of Violence
Partitioned Lives

Haimanti Roy

Oxford University Press

This chapter moves away from large-scale physical violence and place a different kind of Partition violence on the centre stage: small scale, sporadic, threatening psyche rather than the body. Such routine violence was a key feature of post Partition Bengal and was mediated by actual singular incidents of petty theft, loot, kidnapping of women and murders, destruction and/or defacement of religious icons, by verbal threats, rumours aimed at maximizing minority insecurities and through embellished representation of communal incidents in the public media, political speeches and thinly veiled state propaganda. Together they created a continuous ecology of fear This chapter shows that the communist inspired peasant riots of 1950, which engulfed both side of Bengal, could easily transform into a communal riot because of the persistence of such violence in the region. Further such violence and its representations were necessary components in the minority narratives of victimhood, articulations for minority rights and demands for refugee rehabilitation and citizenship.

Keywords:   Dacca Riots, small scale routine violence, rumour, women, propaganda, newspaper reports, police, Mridula Sarabhai, East Pakistan, B C Roy, Khulna, Barisal

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