Aanchal Malhotra is an oral historian and writer. She is the author of the new book In the Language of Remembering: The Inheritance of Partition, which explores Partition through the lens of memories passed down generations.
Aanchal, whose own family was affected by Partition, speaks with Yusra Hasan about her experience interviewing families who chose to stay where they were in India and Pakistan, and now find themselves the minority in their own country.
“I was really tired by Partition only being discussed in the realm of violence and bloodshed because we know that already,” she says. “We understand the violence of the Partition but we don't really know the happiness of partition.”
She notes about how people who migrated to India or Pakistan during Partition have a sense of belonging to the place they came from. “It is really scary to see yourself in everything or shades of yourself in everything that is unrelated to you,” she says. “When someone is saying I have no ancestral land, I say neither do I. If I need to go to my origin of ancestry, then it is across the border.”
She also talks about her first book, Remnants of a Separation: A History of the Partition through Material Memory.
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