Professor Sanjib Baruah. Photo by Pete Mauney ’93 MFA ’00
“In world historical terms, the birth of India and Pakistan as separate countries, and the subsequent break-up of Pakistan and the birth of Bangladesh, were the result of the emergence of the nation-state as the new global norm of political organisation. But as thinkers such as Hannah Arendt have warned us, the formation of new states is almost always a refugee-generating process.” That there are migration flows across the Partition border even after seven decades wouldn’t surprise many historians, says Baruah. “Partition was not a conclusive one-time event; it has been a protracted and long-drawn-out affair.