The paper establishes how reading the novel from the legal point of view underscores the contentious nature of genocide that prevailed during the time of Partition.
Anindita Dutta, Department of English, Tezpur University, Napaam, Assam, India.
Biswanath Gupta, Associate Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
The article explores the complex nexus of the legal and the literary by re-envisioning the idea of genocide as a legal, social as well as political concept, as the violence engendered by it continues to cast its shadow over humankind. The relevance of Khushwant Singh’s novel Train to Pakistan lies in its vivid portrayal of how mass passions of religious antagonism result in gripping accounts of bloodshed and forced expulsion of ordinary people in South Asia.
The paper also seeks to contest the narrow understanding of genocide where the victim and perpetrator communities are perceived as exclusive categories. Through this exemplary novel, the paper attempts to foreground how fictional narratives mirror the basic conceptualizations of genocide as enshrined in the United Nations Genocide Convention (1948).
The paper delves into the blurred distinction between victim and perpetrator communities in the context of partition in South Asia. The article engages in a close textual analysis to shed light on the synthesis of the literary and legal context of genocide in Khushwant Singh’s Train to Pakistan. The paper establishes how reading the novel from the legal point of view underscores the contentious nature of genocide that prevailed during the time of Partition.
Published in: Asian Journal of Legal Education
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