Release Date: 2018 / 2007
ISBN13: 9780195683776 (hdb), 9780199483570 (pbk OIP)
Synopsis:‘Since 1947’, an oft-encountered phrase in Delhi, has been used in this book for an incursion into the embedded themes of disruption in one's everyday life: forced migration, and then reparation; rearrangement; and renewed embodiment of the migrant's personal and social bearings. The book broadly explores how past is employed to repair ruptures in people’s ordinary lives. It specifically delves into the Partition experience used by Punjabi Hindu refugees to evolve coping strategies when forced to leave their homes in 1947, and examines the emerging identification process. The book is organized around the twin courses travelled by the Punjabi migrants—from ordinary people to refugees and from refugees to locals in Delhi city—over a period of half-a-century. The main focus is on the period between 1947 and 1965, addressing the themes of displacement, loss, resettlement, and restoration. It discusses the last journey undertaken by millions of Hindus and Sikhs from West Punjab, and challenges the popular narrative that represents migration essentially as chaotic, disorderly, and hurried. It then discusses the government policies and practices of resettlement, wherein ‘compensation’ against property lost in Pakistan was the key criterion. Finally, the historicity of the identification processes among the Punjabi migrants in Delhi is examined.