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The Partition of India. Roots: Hindu-Muslims riots in 1881 Time: August 14, 1947—birth of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan / August 15—birth of the secular state of India

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the partition of india
The Partition of India
  • Roots: Hindu-Muslims riots in 1881
  • Time: August 14, 1947—birth of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan / August 15—birth of the secular state of India
  • “A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.” —Jawaharlal Nehru
timeline 1
Timeline 1
  • 1600-British East India Company is established.
  • 1905-First Partition of Bengal for administrative purposes. Gives the Muslims a majority in that state.
  • 1906-All India Muslim League founded to promote Muslim political interests.
  • 1909-Revocation of Partition of Bengal. Creates anti-British and anti-Hindu sentiments among Muslims as they lose their majority in East Bengal.
timeline 2
Timeline 2
  • 1929-Congress calls for full independence.
  • 1930-Dr. Allama Iqbal, a poet-politician, calls for a separate homeland for the Muslims.
  • 1940-Jinnah calls for establishment of Pakistan in an independent and partitioned India.
  • 1947-Announcement of Lord Mountbatten's plan forpartition of India, 3 June. Partition of India and Pakistan, 15 August.
  • 1971-East Pakistan separates from West Pakistan and Bangladesh is born.
impact and aftermath
"ghost trains"

15 million refugees

Division of the provinces of Punjab and Bengal,

Ruined economies and lands; no established, experienced system of government.

Separation of Pakistan and Bangladesh in 1971.

Wars between India and Pakistan; deadlocked over Kashmir.

Impact and Aftermath
earth 1998
EARTH (1998)
  • Director: Deepa Mehta
  • Adapted from Bapsi Sidhwa's semi-autobiographical novel Cracking India
  • Setting: Lahore
deepa mehta
Born in India in 1949

Based in Toronto since 1973

Her Indian film trilogy:

Fire—lesbian plot

Earth—the partition of India

Water—lives of Indian widows in the 1930s

What is the meaning of the film’s title?

Deepa Mehta
earth narrative structure
EARTH—Narrative Structure
  • Narrative frame: Lenny 58 (1997) Lenny 8 (1947)
  • A child’s perspective—a witness of the trauma of partition

—the breaking up of the nation, the violence, and the distortion of human nature (the image of lion, beast)—love and sexuality

Why does the director choose to tell the story from Lenny’s perspective?

innocence + Parsee’s neutrality

earth themes and motifs
EARTH—Themes and Motifs
  • Religious and ethnic conflicts—Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs migrations and uprooting (6 million Muslims to Pakistan+ 5 million Hindus and Sikhs to India)
  • What are the metaphors for partition in the film?
  • broken plate, torn doll
  • Indian customs: kite flying, Child bride
  • The Parsees and their identity problem
  • Love—a love triangle
  • Park

What are the significances of the park scenes?What is the symbolic meaning of the park?

earth characters
EARTH—Characters
  • Who is your favorite character in the film and why?
  • Compare the characters of Hassen and Dil Navaz.
  • Discuss Dil Navaz’s changes in the film. Why do think the original novel is subtitled The Ice candy Man
  • What do you think about the betrayal at the end of the film?