On-line version ISSN 1809-4449
DAS, Veena. The act of witnessing: violence, poisonous knowledge and subjectivity. Cad. Pagu [online]. 2011, n.37, pp.9-41. ISSN 1809-4449. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-83332011000200002.
The context is the Partition of India in 1949, with the creation of Pakistan, as seen from the point of view of Punjabi culture (the Punjab was the province closer to the frontiers of the new state) and particularly through the eyes of Asha, a widow 21 years old in 1941, who lived with his deceased husband's family. The transformations derived from the Partition give rise to Asha's following reflections. A daughter's food is never heavy on her parents. But how long will one's parents live? When two pieces of bread are experienced as heavy by one's own brother… then it is better to keep one's honor… make one's peace … and live where one was destined to live. The exegesis of this text is the analytical nucleus of the text. The author is not asking how the events of the Partition were present to consciousness as past events but how they came to be incorporated into the temporal structure of relationships.
Keywords : Partition of India; Violence; Gender; Family History; Punjab.