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Bio politics of Gendered Violence in Sahadat Hasan Manto’s Stories, “Sharifan”, “Xuda Ki Kasam” and “Ghate Ka Sauda”: Reflections on Authentic Testimonies of Trauma

Journal: International Journal of English, Literature and Social Science (Vol.5, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 382-387

Keywords : Trauma; Violence; Testimony; Partition; Authenticity;

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Saadat HasanManto, in his mentioned stories explores the gendered violence during the tragic event of the Partition of India. By foregrounding the plight and predicament of abducted, displaced and raped women caused by the biopolitical violence, the violence in which human bodies and lives are targets and focal points of politics and war, he attempts to show the most horrible picture of the Partition and its consequences. Due to the patriarchy - unleashed violence perpetrated on women they are ultimately reduced into homo sacer and muselmann as conceptualized by Giorgio Agamben. Muselmann is a specific form of life which is alive but dead, and dead but alive. The female characters, who suffer from brutal rape, abduction and mutilation in the stories, are nothing but the abject object, which speak the vastness of trauma without speaking. In other words, the victimized women characters and their somatic testimonies verge on the authenticity of their traumas. While dramatizing the pervasive effects of gender violence during the precarious time of the Partition of India by keeping the falsity of religious and political rhetoric of the Partition violence at bay, Manto projects the testimonies of the traumatic events of the Partition without perpetuating the cycle of revenge and recrimination. He does not see the perpetrators as Muslims or non-Muslims, Indians or Pakistanis; rather he just sees and depicts them as human beings with all their wilderness and barbarity. By executing the unmediated testimony of the Partition violence, and combining evil and suffering within it, he also captures the specificity of the Partition violence without being provocative in any way. In doing so, hebrings in the humanitarian and moral perspective on the Partition holocaust, which helps evoke the therapeutic effect of the trauma of the Partition— and that effect is the hallmark of the aesthetic of the literature of violence or trauma.

Last modified: 2020-03-21 21:10:35