Partition and the Radcliffe Line

Cracking India: The Line that Still Bleeds

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This anti-memorial comprises of a series of neon sculptures that memorialize the Radcliffe Line. Created in 1947, which divided British India into India, East Pakistan and West Pakistan. In 1971, East Pakistan became Bangladesh. These two violent and bloody partitions embody not only the violent history of the sub-continent but also haunts the current geopolitical landscape of South Asia.

While the Radcliffe Line was drawn by men, Sir Cyril Radcliffe the chief architect of the new border, Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy of British India, and Hindu and Muslim judges that were in the Boundary Commission, these  neon sculptures are created in a bright pink color, to gender the Radcliffe Line as feminine so as to highlight the impact it had on Hindu, Muslim, Bengali, and Sikh women in 1947 and 1971. The neon sculptures depict the India-Pakistan border, and the India-Bangladesh border.

The title of this project is inspired by a novel titled “Cracking India,” written by Bapsi Sidhwa, a Parsi feminist writer. In the semi-autobiographical novel, a young girl child narrates the Partition of India through her eyes.

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