Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

2 - The Geography of Partition: Reading Manto’s “Toba Tek Singh"

Friday, July 6
2:40 PM - 4:10 PM
Location: Amaltas, Lower Ground Floor

“Toba Tek Singh” (1955) is a short story by the noted writer Saadat Hasan Manto. Coming in the wake of the gory and sordid Partition Manto pens down a satire where the inmates of a mental asylum in erstwhile Punjab are fearful of being shifted to a hitherto unheard of place called Pakistan. Given their mental imbalance the inmates are sceptical of how a land where they have lived all their lives will suddenly transform into a foreign territory. The discourse is on the futility of such an exercise and the Geographic im/possibility of this ‘strange’ exercise. Manto drives home the point – the people who orchestrated the Partition did it for selfish and ulterior motives which make little sense to the common person. Even the inmates of a mental asylum are sceptical of this futile exercise.This Paper will study the saga of the Partition and the havoc it wreaked in the minds and the psyche of the people caught in its crossfire using Manto’s satirical story questioning the contested ideas of “Geographical dis/location”, “territorial shift” and “diasporic experiences”.


 

Nandini Choudhury Sen

University of Delhi, India

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2 - The Geography of Partition: Reading Manto’s “Toba Tek Singh"



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