I’ve always been interested in the ways various projects, events and interests can intersect into a common thread. August 14th marks the date for the partition where India was split by the British Empire into two different countries: India and Pakistan. This blog looks at the partition through the lenses of two of my most recent projects: “Roots” which explored rediscovering the origins of ecology through South Asian identity, and the latest issue of my magazine, SINK, which focuses on what it means to rewild.
In the aftermath of the Second World War, the sinking scarcity of resources and the crumblings of the British Empire, select rulers of the sub-continent decided to ‘end’ their rule. The violent split between neighbouring nations India and Pakistan has caused harmful rifts, the effect of which can still be felt today. Muslims were expected to move to the west (Pakistan) or the east (Bangladesh) and Hindus to migrate solely to India. It is estimated that over 2 million were killed, and 14 million were displaced during the time of partition, which the British announced suddenly and overnight, one of the greatest migration movements occurred, causing mass riots, mobs and violence.
The Indian sub-continent has always been a melting pot of different cultures, religions and people. It was exposed to the influence of many different rulers, such as the elite princes to one of the most prominent and influential epochs of the Mughal Empire. Although Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jewish and many other religions had their own ways of practising, the geographical closeness pre-partition presented a more unified way of life, a harmony of being neighbours side by side. The divide and conquer tactic of the British Empire meant that any differences between religions, caste and classes were exacerbated and used as leverage for control.
The partition and colonial rule worked through separation, segregation and barriers. So, shedding these boundaries to embrace the richness in hybridity, multiculturalism and diversity can act as a metaphorical means to recover parts of our past which were lost, ignored or repressed. In the most recent issue for SINK, we focus on what rewilding means. My latest blog for SINK magazine explores the roots and concepts around rewilding here. The magazine’s issue tackles the themes of taking up space as resistance, dismantling restrictive hierarchies and untaming political or physical landscapes. The colonial rule and partition is only one example of how division seeps into society through the influence of authoritative systems. However, we can use the physical or metaphorical creative freedom of rewilding to grow and unite over the cracks of hatred and division.
Read of the Month
Issue 4: Rewilding by SINK magazine
Besides from the editor's bias, I would highly recommend this as a rogue summer read to dip your toes in. Whatever your interests, there’s sure to be something new to explore in its abundance of stories, essays, poetry and art. Available to pre-order online and as a physical copy here.
SINK is an independent Northern magazine which aims to provide a platform for the voice of Northern creatives. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook @sink_magazine.
Anisha Minocha is studying English and Spanish at the University of St Andrews, currently living in Andalucía. She is a writer and poet whose work has been showcased in winning competitions, readings and anthologies. She co-edits SINK Magazine, which gives a platform to Northern creatives, and founded the "Roots"" project with Friends of the Earth that looks at the intersections between South Asian identity and ecology. Twitter: @anisha_jaya
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