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A Perspective To Partition

Author Nisid Hajari believes that the violent Hindu-Muslim riots have had a long-lasting impact on tensions in the region

8/31/2015 3:41:58 PM
written By : Nithya Subramanian Print

The South Asian subcontinent is increasingly becoming the centre of global geopolitics, so it comes as no surprise that the interest in this region is growing rapidly.
A new book Midnight’s Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India’s Partition by American-Indian Nisid Hajari aims to look at the role Partition played in shaping the politics of the region, which has global repercussions too. It intends to give more perspective to the international community, especially Americans.
 Hajari was born in India and went to the US as a three-month old infant where his father was working as an engineer with Boeing in Seattle. Educated in Princeton and Columbia universities, he has worked as a journalist and editor with Time and Newsweek. He is currently Asia Editor at Bloomberg View.
Here are excerpts of an exclusive interview India Se had with him.
India Se: What prompted you to write this Book?
Nisid Hajari: During college I was interested in colonial literature of the region, but after working in Newsweek for 10 years, my tenure there coincided with 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan. As the editor, I was overseeing coverage of those events and kept getting asked why Pakistan would take aid from the US but still provide a safe haven to the Taliban. I would say it would make sense if you were a Pakistani General… you think of India as an existential enemy and take help of the US while Taliban gives you a foothold in Afghanistan to keep India at bay. But that mentality begins at partition and the riots that followed it. And that was a huge cataclysmic event that Americans know nothing about.
When I started to look at the subject, there were shelves of books on this period, but the question I had was different… why did this rivalry grow? In theory you could have had a peaceful partition. Muhammad Ali Jinnah had wanted it… like the US and Canada. If the riots had started, and if it could have been stopped quickly then you might have had a different relationship.

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