October 2022

4:00 PM to 5:30 PM (IST)

Online Via Zoom


Human History Of Partition: Not Lines On Maps, But Stories, Memories, And Objects

The Conversation Series

Aanchal Malhotra

Oral Historian And Writer
Co-Founder of the Museum of Material Memory

Professor Ravi Miglani

Professor of Practice of Management
Director, Executive Education
Ahmedabad University

In 1947, as India gained independence, lines were hastily drawn on maps, and millions of lives were uprooted. Tomes have been written on Partition; but traditional means of narration have failed to do justice to the depth of human trauma. The pain of Partition lives on in the hearts of those affected, as personal memory, collective memory, and generational memory.  Personal memories of ordinary people – not the distorted, jingoistic, official histories that we read in textbooks. Oral histories go deeper than maps, and statistics, and rulers, and dates; to bring to life the human suffering, the pain, the regrets.

What objects did people take with them when they fled across these new borders? What memories have grown around those mundane objects? What memories have been inherited by the descendants of those who fled? Why do we need to dig into these memories, 75 years after Partition?

Our speaker is an artist and oral historian. She has written two books – oral histories of the memories of Partition. She will bring Partition alive through stories of memories and help us understand the personal narratives around the painful migration.


Aanchal Malhotra

Aanchal Malhotra is an oral historian and writer from New Delhi, India. She is the co-founder of the Museum of Material Memory, a crowd-sourced digital repository that traces family histories and social ethnography through heirlooms, collectibles, and antiques from the Indian subcontinent. She writes extensively on the 1947 Partition and related topics. Her first book, published in South Asia as Remnants of a Separation (2017) and internationally as Remnants of Partition (2019), won the Council for Museum Anthropology Book Award 2022, and was shortlisted for the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar, British Academy Book Prize, Hindu Lit for Life Non Fiction Prize, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize and the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize. Her second book, In the Language of Remembering, tracing the long-term, cross-border, generational legacy of Partition, was published in early 2022.


Professor Ravi Miglani

Ravi Miglani is Professor of Practice of Management and Director of Executive Education at Ahmedabad University. In his 35 years of experience in marketing research and consumer insights, he has worked with multinational organisations across the domain, including market research, consumer behaviour, customer engagement, and research-based marketing consulting. He is a postgraduate in management from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (1983). At Ahmedabad University, he has developed a course on Interdisciplinary Approach To Consumer Understanding using the principles of marketing research and the thinking and methodologies of adjacent disciplines (like neuromarketing, behavioural economics, and ethnography) to fully understand consumer choices at a deep System 1 brain level.