Partition Violence In Manto Khol Do

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The paper seeks to study the horrors of Partition violence in the Indian subcontinent with particular reference to Manto’s short-story, Khol Do. In the aftermath of Partition, a strange sort of emotion had gripped the psyche of the people on either side of the newly demarcated line which divested them of their basic human traits and tendencies and unleashed their savage self out in the open ready to devour anyone who came their way. The paper, thus, explores issues related to sexualized violence which targeted women, girls and children alike irrespective of their social or religious creed; the concept of the social death with relation to mass rape and abduction of women as a form of ethnic cleansing and what survival means in such troubled times. In addition, the paper also addresses some theoretical questions regarding the ethics of the writer and the potential of short-story as a genre to carry multiple meanings and significations.

Keywords: Partition, Sexualized violence, Social death, Ethnic Cleansing, Survival, Aesthetics

In the middle of 20th century, the Partition of Indian subcontinent was a catastrophic and life-upsetting event. It was catastrophic as it brought about destruction of life and matter on a massive scale on either side of the demarcated line (Hindustan and Pakistan) with charred and slain bodies strewn across the land which included brutalized women, abandoned and maimed children clueless to the widespread violence and an atmosphere of
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