A Dissevered Nation And Her Other Self
Payel Chattopadhyay Mukherjee
DISSEVERED (Khandita) by Samaresh Bose. Translated from the original Bengali by Rani Ray Niyogi Books, 2019, 192 pp., 350.00
August 2021, volume 45, No 8

Partition narratives accommodate some of the most difficult and irreconcilable spaces of human experience within the contested ideas of home, nation, and sense of belonging. Samaresh Bose’s Bangla novella Khandita written in 1985, translated into English by Rani Ray as Dissevered in 2019, registers the need to comprehend the ground realities that Partition has incorporated despite the political and ideological questions on nationalism, sovereignty, communal discordance, and legitimacy of citizenship.

Bose’s documentary fiction, even after almost forty years of Partition, takes into account minute historical details and blends them into the narrative, using the strategies of a fictional framework. The translated version in English is a call to reminisce about the Partition-Independence period while reaching out to a post-Independence, postcolonial group of readers, sensitizing them to see the Partition as more than a historical event. It also converses with those who still carry their ancestral memories of being uprooted, affected, or separated by the territorial cleft into two nations.

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