I Tirmizi, The Paradoxes Of Freedom In India's Subh-E-Azadi
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India’s Independence and the consequent Partition was one of the most imperative historical events of the 20th century, which led to the brutal carnage in which at least one million Hindus and Muslims lost their lives, hundreds of thousands of children were lost and abandoned, women raped and abducted apart from the families that were torn apart. The poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz in his Subh-e-Azadi aptly captured the pain, anguish, disillusionment and the traumatic realities: “Yeh daghdar ujala yeh shab gazida sahr, woh intizar tha jiska woh yeh sahr to nahin” (This stain-covered daybreak, this night-bitten dawn. This dawn is not that dawn we craved for – S A I Tirmizi, The Paradoxes of Partition 1937-47). The harrowing realities of Partition and the psychological trauma gave rise to a body of literature, which voiced the concerns of people’s consciousness, which was the outcome of political, social, and psychological upheaval. The literary reaction to the Partition exposed the complex ways in which the politics of Partition entered into people’s consciousness and the nationalism that emerged cracked families on ideological lines and created fears and uncertainties. This literary response received from Saadat Hasan Manto, Khushwant Singh, Bapsi Sidhwa, and Shashi Tharoor is dominated by nostalgia and feelings of expatriation felt on both sides of the border.
These novelists, unlike historians, emphasize the centrality of literary narratives and address the human distress