The reason for Star Weekend's special issue on the Partition, the idea for which originated from a suggestion by Professor Ali Riaz of Illinois State University (one of our regular columnists) to commemorate the 70th anniversary, is to revive our interest in the history of Partition. In popular memory, the Partition is mostly, and justly, remembered for the tragedy that it represents, and not for the failure—of heritage, commonality, and a thousand years of living side by side—of the politics of the day. Why did one stream of events become so inexorable that it overwhelmed all others and turned neighbours into killers?
In this special issue, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Partition, we bring together a set of writers from Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, who in their respective fields—from academics to arts—have contributed to a deeper understanding of the fateful events of Partition and its continued repercussions. We have also included oral histories, collected by the 1947 Partition Archive, of individuals who witnessed and survived events pre- and post-1947. These articles seek to see the Partition from new perspectives, with a specific focus on the erstwhile East Bengal.
Cover art: Anisuzzaman Sohel, Leap Across Time 1, pen, acrylic and graffiti on paper
Note: Throughout the magazine, Partition has been spelled both with an uppercase and with a lowercase 'p' in order to accommodate the preferences of the respective authors of each article.
"It took me a long time to realise that my family and I, like every other citizen of the current state of Bangladesh, were directly and indirectly a by-product of the Partition to the extent that even our daily struggles sometimes evolved around it," writes Meghna Guhathakurta.