Refugee Women in Calcultta (1947-1958) A Journey in Search for a New Identity

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Nandini Ganguli, M.Phil


This paper deals specifically with the issues of the Bengali refugee women within the contours of their families and outside the families in Post-Partition Calcutta and its surrounding areas. Apart from various gender specific violence in Pre-Partition times, the changed and altered conditions in Calcutta and the adjoining areas had various repercussions for these women. To understand their position better an attempt has been made to compare the position of refugee and non – refugee women in Calcutta. Also the contemporary attitudes of the general members of the society have been dealt with for a clearer picture of the complexities of the period and different negotiations of these women and the impact of this on their lives and society. A general allegation regarding the Partition in Bengal remains the silence of the literary forms. To counter this argument this paper also includes some novels and films of contemporary or near contemporary period to understand the human dimensions of the Partition and refugee women in Bengal.

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Author Biography

Nandini Ganguli, M.Phil, University of Calcutta

A recent graduate of the University of Calcutta’s M.Phil program in History. Her M.phil Dissertation focused on Refugee women in Bengal. She has also presented a paper on the condition of Somali Refugees in India at the 14th Conference of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration in Kolkata (January 2013).