Sacks of Mutilated Breasts: Violence against Women and Body Politics in Partition Literature

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.53032/TCL.2021.6.3.13

Keywords:

Mutilated Breasts, Rape, Partition, Women, Violation, Cultural, Religion

Abstract

South Asian writers’ partition accounts attest that women from all backgrounds of culture and religion were the worst victims of the newly-created India-Pakistan border of 1947. Women's bodies were kidnapped, stripped naked, raped, disfigured (their breasts were cut off), engraved with religious symbols, and slain before being transported in train carriages to the "other" side of the border. Taking the romantic example of Bapsi Sidhwa’s Ice Candy Man/Cracking India (1988), we will look at the symbol of women's breasts, following on the theories of Judith Butler and Michel Foucault on power and governmentality, framed within the rhetoric of Mother India, where violence against women is a commonplace Bapsis Sidhwa’s theory of women's rights. As a result, we will examine the passage of sacks of damaged breasts as a horrible testimony to Partition history and as a metaphor for border crossing, undermining the nation's stability. In light of Julia Kristen's abjection theory, we will view female corpses with damaged breasts as abject who push the bounds of normative society, exposing its frailty. Finally, the novel covered in this document can be seen both as a disgraceful condemnation of a brutal de/colonial process and as a witch for feminist resistance (doing Herstory). The agony and grief of mutilated women's bodies are depicted in authors such as Bapsi Sidhwa to reveal the dialectic of history/body (the trajectory of the violation of women's rights).

Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

References

Athanasiou, A. “Nonsovereign Agonism (or, Beyond Affirmation versus Vulnerability)”. In J.Butler, Z. Gambetti, L. Sabsay (Co-Eds.) Vulnerability in Resistance. Duke University Press, 2016. pp. 256-277.

Butalia, U. The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India. Hurst and Company, 2000.

Butler, J. (2016). “Rethinking Vulnerability and Resistance.” In J. Butler, Z. Gambetti, L. Sabsay (Co-Eds.) Vulnerability in Resistance. Duke University Press, 2016. pp. 12-27

. . . . Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex. Routledge, 1993.

Chinkin, C. Rape and Sexual Abuse of Women in International Law. European Journal of International Law, 5 (1), 1994.pp.326-341.

Das, V. Life and Words: Violence and the Descent into the Ordinary. University of California Press, 2007.

Foucault, M. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Vintage Books, 1995.

—-. “Governmentality.” In G. Burchell, C. Gordon, P. Miller (Co-Eds).The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality, Harvester-Wheatsheaf, 1991. pp. 87-104.

—-.The History of Sexuality. Volume 1, An Introduction. Vintage, 1990.

Jay, M. Cultural Semantics: Keywords of Our Time. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998.

Kristeva, J. Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection. Columbia University Press, 1982.

Roy, R. South Asian Partition Fiction in English: From Khushwant Singh to Amitav Ghosh. Amsterdam University Press, 2010.

Scarry, E. The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World. Oxford University Press, 1985.

Sidhwa, Bapsi. Cracking India. Milkweed Editions, 1991.

Tabasum, I. A. and A. Karim. “Images of Hope in Ice Candy Man.”Kashmir Journal of Language Research, 16 (1), 2013. pp.237-247.

Zaidi, N. A. and A. M. Zafar. “Tradition Woman and Modernity in Bapsi Sidhwa’s Novels.”European Journal of Scientific Research, 102 (3), 2013. 388-396

Downloads

Published

2021-08-30

How to Cite

Puneet Singh. (2021). Sacks of Mutilated Breasts: Violence against Women and Body Politics in Partition Literature. The Creative Launcher, 6(3), 66–71. https://doi.org/10.53032/TCL.2021.6.3.13