Sacks of Mutilated Breasts: Violence against Women and Body Politics in Partition Literature




Mutilated Breasts, Rape, Partition, Women, Violation, Cultural, Religion


South Asian writers’ partition accounts attest that women from all backgrounds of culture and religion were the worst victims of the newly-created India-Pakistan border of 1947. Women's bodies were kidnapped, stripped naked, raped, disfigured (their breasts were cut off), engraved with religious symbols, and slain before being transported in train carriages to the "other" side of the border. Taking the romantic example of Bapsi Sidhwa’s Ice Candy Man/Cracking India (1988), we will look at the symbol of women's breasts, following on the theories of Judith Butler and Michel Foucault on power and governmentality, framed within the rhetoric of Mother India, where violence against women is a commonplace Bapsis Sidhwa’s theory of women's rights. As a result, we will examine the passage of sacks of damaged breasts as a horrible testimony to Partition history and as a metaphor for border crossing, undermining the nation's stability. In light of Julia Kristen's abjection theory, we will view female corpses with damaged breasts as abject who push the bounds of normative society, exposing its frailty. Finally, the novel covered in this document can be seen both as a disgraceful condemnation of a brutal de/colonial process and as a witch for feminist resistance (doing Herstory). The agony and grief of mutilated women's bodies are depicted in authors such as Bapsi Sidhwa to reveal the dialectic of history/body (the trajectory of the violation of women's rights).


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How to Cite

Puneet Singh. (2021). Sacks of Mutilated Breasts: Violence against Women and Body Politics in Partition Literature. The Creative Launcher, 6(3), 66–71.