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The Psychological Impact of the Partition of India
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The Psychological Impact of the Partition of India

Edited by:
  • Sanjeev Jain - Professor of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru
  • Alok Sarin - Practising Clinical Psychiatrist, Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research, New Delhi

July 2018 | 260 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd

The first of its kind, this book studies the psychological impact of Partition through medical and psychiatric perspectives.

The Partition of India was a partitioning of minds as much as it was a geographical division. But there has been little discussion in mental health discourse on the psychological scars it caused. This book examines the partitioning of human experience and its impact on social life and psychological health. The chapters track, through various approaches, the breakdown of civic life and society during the cataclysmic event, the collapse of medical services, the violence against citizens and the reflection of these events in writings of that era. The book draws attention to the urgent need for a humane understanding of persons with mental illness and psychological distress in the context of their lived history as much as their sociocultural identities and roots.

Narendra Nath Wig
Foreword
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgements
Alok Sarin and Sanjeev Jain
Setting the Stage: The Partition of India and the Silences of Psychiatry
Anirudh Kala and Alok Sarin
The Partitioning of Madness
Sanjeev Jain
Balm and Salve: The Effect of the Partition on Planning and Delivering Health Care
Moushumi Basu
Partitioning of Minds and the Legitimatisation of Difference
Sanjeev Jain
Borderline States and Their Interface with Psychiatry
Tarun K Saint
Writing and Rewriting Partition’s Afterlife: Creative Re-enactments of Historical Trauma
Hina Nandrajog
Refugees of the Partition of India: Trauma and Strategies of Recovery
Anjana Sharma and Gopa Sabharwal
Anger Is a Short Madness
Ayesha Kidwai
“Are We Women Not Citizens?” Mridula Sarabhai’s Social Workers and the Recovery of Abducted Women
Sukeshi Kamra
The Rhetoric of Violence: Cultures of Affect in Resistant Nationalism and the 1947 Partition
Pratima Murthy
Looking Within, Looking Without
 
Index

This book probes the emotional dimensions of the Partition, including the trama of those directly affected and its “trans-generational effects”.

The book emerged from concerns that psychiatrists have treated the horrors of the Partition as a “no-go” zone, never attempting to seriously probe the psychological scars caused by the Partition. The magnitude of human suffering during the Partition was cataclysmic.

Authors says that “it is strange and intriguing, the process of healing requires understanding and understanding the trauma and seeking resolution.”

The book also probe whether the Partition “(unleased) an insanity which persists in day-to-day life, attitude, and ideology and whether “political trauma and social distancing, whether by fascism in Germany or other forms of social oppression, contribute to psychological symptoms.

THE TELEGRAPH, 16 Jun 2018

Authors made the joint presentation on a subject that had hither to remained untouched in our understanding of partition- the long term psychological impact of the trauma of the moment and of the processes that followed. Moved, and intrigued, by the many stories they had come to hear form their patients- many of whom had lived through it- the doctors had begun to make initial explorations into the subject. Making sense of what happened is not only an ‘after-the-act’ phenomenon. As the editors show in their introduction and in their individual essays, politicians, bureaucrats, even Gandhi himself, were bewildered by the scale and spread of Partition violence.

Other essay in this collection nuance this rich seam of exploration, providing connections and parallels with the impact of terrible violence in former Yugoslavia(where seemingly scientifically minded doctors and psychiatrists enthusiastically joined in the project of the demonization of the other and thereby implicitly supported the killings), Darfur and Muzaffarnagar. They point out the everyday acts in which the seed of partition already exit in daily life and the ways in which states are complicit in creation partitions and forming divisions in order to control populations.

THE HINDU, CHENNAI, 8th July 2018

This first of-a- kind collective, interdisciplinary inquiry into the impact of partition on the minds of people brings together psychiatrists, historians, sociologists and literary minds in a holistic examination of the psychological and sociology and sociological impact of Partition, especially at a time mental health and its consequence have become a modern scourge and yet remains the most misunderstood science. What caused perfectly sane and normal people individually to resort to collective madness? What led to orgy- on both sides of violence, assault and other abominations that they would otherwise have been ashamed of? What were the consequences on individuals, families and societies that had to bear the psychological scars of the Partition trauma? These questions are answered in this book.

THE SENTINEL, GUWAHATI, 29th June 2018

This book probe the emotional dimensions of the Partition, including the trauma of those directly affected and its “trans- generational effects”. This book have treated the horrors of Partition as a “no-go” zone, never attempting to seriously probe the psychological scars caused by the Partition. The magnitude of human suffering during the Partition was cataclysmic.

This book also probes whether the Partition “(unleased) an insanity which persists in day-to-day life, attitude, and ideology” and whether “political trauma and social distancing. Whether by fascism in Germany or other forms of social oppression, contribute to psychological symptoms.

THE TELEGRAPH, KOLKATA, 16th June 2018
Key features

The first of its kind, this book studies the psychological impact of Partition through medical and psychiatric perspectives.

The Partition of India was a partitioning of minds as much as it was a geographical division. But there has been little discussion in mental health discourse on the psychological scars it caused. This book examines the partitioning of human experience and its impact on social life and psychological health. The chapters track, through various approaches, the breakdown of civic life and society during the cataclysmic event, the collapse of medical services, the violence against citizens and the reflection of these events in writings of that era. The book draws attention to the urgent need for a humane understanding of persons with mental illness and psychological distress in the context of their lived history as much as their sociocultural identities and roots.


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ISBN: 9789352806508
$54.99