Losing Home: Finding Home
5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
- SOAS, University of London
- Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT), Lower Ground Floor of Main Building
About this event
75 years after the Partition of India, who owns the narrative? This question has been pondered at length in different forms on different forums, and the Sindh story has been markedly absent. It’s hard to understand why this is so, as it is a big story affecting a large and diverse population, with many remarkable features.
When Partition gave the province of Sindh intact to Pakistan, it was believed that the non-Muslims would continue as a peaceful and prosperous minority, as they had been for centuries. And when the trouble escalated, they faced their abrupt exile with courage and enterprise.
In these 75 years, Hindu Sindhis – while centred largely in Mumbai and its environs – have made their homes in places all around India as well as other countries around the world. They adapted and integrated, put the past firmly behind them, and indeed have never been seen as people who came from somewhere else.
Perhaps it is the patina of distrust – derision even – at their unmistakable prosperity, which obscures some very interesting facts. Some of these have been showcased in Losing Home, Finding Home a book of personal narratives by Saaz Aggarwal (black-and-white fountain, Pune, 2022) and will be presented here.
The event will be chaired by Professor Navtej Purewal (Political Sociology and Development Studies).
Saaz Aggarwal has a Master’s degree in Mathematics, but over the years established herself as a writer and artist. Her body of work includes biographies, translations, critical reviews and humour columns, as well as themed painting collections and mixed-media installations. Her books on Sindh are in libraries of the best universities around the world.
Navtej Purewal (she/they) is Professor of Political Sociology and Development Studies at SOAS University of London. She has done field-based research over the past two decades in Punjab across India and Pakistan looking at borders, gender, caste and vernacular/popular religion and social change. She is currently AHRC India Fellow and is PI on an AHRC-funded project ‘Border Crossings: Exploring community and history at the 75th anniversary of the partition’.
A seminar series curated by the Library Decolonisation Operational Group, led by Farzana Qureshi, Dr. Ludi Price, Amma Poku and Angelica Baschiera.