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The Making of the Modern Refugee$
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Peter Gatrell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199674169

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199674169.001.0001

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Midnight's Refugees? Partition and its Aftermath in India and Pakistan

Midnight's Refugees? Partition and its Aftermath in India and Pakistan

(p.148) 5 Midnight's Refugees? Partition and its Aftermath in India and Pakistan
The Making of the Modern Refugee

Peter Gatrell

Oxford University Press

The relationship between state formation and population displacement emerges clearly in South Asia, where Partition created two new states, India and Pakistan in 1947 and where Bangladesh arose out of the carnage of war in 1971. Partition took place without external intervention, whereas India leant its support to the secession of Bangladesh. The causal connection between states and refugees does not run in one direction, since refugees helped to constitute the state by virtue of being the focal point for ‘rehabilitation’, economicdevelopment and the ‘recovery’ of abducted women. Refugees in turn were expected to demonstrate a commitment to the state. Cultural representations affected relief programmes: refugees from Punjab were construed as more heroic and enterprising than their counterparts in Bengal. The drama of displacement was brought to life by novelists, photographers and film makers. Lately audiences have been introduced to intimate stories of female suffering in 1947 and 1971.

Keywords:   partition, punjab, bengal, pakistan, bangladesh, relief and rehabilitation, development, abduction of women, cultural representations of displacement

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