Collection and Preservation of Painful Memories of Refugee Women Survived during Partition: An Overview

KAUR, Trishanjit and SINGH, Nirmal and KAUR, Simran (2017) Collection and Preservation of Painful Memories of Refugee Women Survived during Partition: An Overview. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session S15 - Satellite Meeting: Women, Information and Libraries Special Interest Group.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Collection and Preservation of Painful Memories of Refugee Women Survived during Partition: An Overview

India witnessed the world’s largest movement of population ranging from 10-18 million during its partition during August1947 when India and Pakistan got independence. This catastrophe left 2 million dead and more than 10 million displaced in a few days. The worst sufferers were women who faced horrible brutalities. Thousands of women were abducted, raped, mutilated, pregnant women had their breasts cut off and babies hacked out of their bellies, infants were found literally roasted. Women were used as slaves and discarded. Gangs of killers set whole villages on flame, hacking to death men and children and the aged while carrying off young women to be raped. Some British soldiers and journalists who had also witnessed the Nazi death camps claimed Partition’s brutalities were worse. It left both physical and mental scars on women. Most of these women never had the chance to tell their stories and chose to let silence take over instead. There are numerous writings, movies, pictures depicting the pain and suffering of women. They want these to be collected and preserved in local libraries and museums. However, a comprehensive source of information providing exhaustive reporting of such writings and other documents still lacks. This paper will analyse various efforts being made to depict and preserve memories of refugee women with special reference to 1947partitionarchive project. It will also provide a comprehensive list of various sources that focus on preserving memories of women victims of partition.

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