The Routine of Violence

Haimanti Roy

in Partitioned Lives

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780198081777
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199081875 | DOI:
The Routine of Violence

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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

Chapter.  13615 words.  Illustrated.

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