There is yet another phenomenon which distinguishes East Bengali Hindu reminiscences of Partition from those promoted by the Muslim migration from West Bengal. This is the Bangladesh liberation war of 1971. Memories of 1947 or Partition have often been superseded by memories of 1971, or movements which led to 1971, because in the quest for a Bengali identity many Bengali Muslims had to rethink their positions. Thus when memories of Partition are revived, they are either blocked or coloured by memories of 1971.
Many Muslims came to the East from West Bengal and Bihar in the hope of finding their promised land, though not all of them believed in the Muslim League ideology. Many progressive cultural activists and professionals came from Calcutta, not spontaneously, but with the ambition of constructing a new nation that would give shape and colour to their dreams. But for most this dream was short-lived. The repression of Bengali identity and the imposition of a new cultural identity of Pakistan, the imposition of martial law, generated spontaneous resistance from the people whether in the form of the language movement of 1952, or the anti-Ayub demonstrations of 1969, culminating in the liberation war of 1971 for an independent Bangladesh.
Go read it all…
And Ishtiaq Ahmed’s Lahore Effect (2006)
ps. I also need to grab this: Stories about the Partition of India. Edited by Alok Bhalla. 3 vols (1994)