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Amritsar to Lahore: A Journey Across the India-Pakistan Border Paperback – August 11, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press (August 11, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812217438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812217438
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,660,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Combines evocative detail with compelling reflection."—Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Stephen Alter is Writer-in-Residence in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. An accomplished writer in both fiction and nonfiction, he is the author of four novels and the memoir All the Way to Heaven: An American Boyhood in the Himalayas.

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Format: Paperback
The author, born in the region, travels across the borders of India and Pakistan, following the traces of the partition. New Delhi, Mussoorie, Amritsar, Wagha, Lahore, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Muree and Atari, Khyber pass and Grand trunk road are his stages. He teaches a history lesson with no real new recognition, but deplorable irreversible facts. Nevertheless it is a readable book without simplifications. Partition is the traumatic event of the south asian subcontinent history, this is the major issue of this book.
Partition leaves its hurting traces deep in mind and soul of the Indian and Pakistan people. India has developed to the biggest democrtacy in the world. And Pakistan? What is left over since the ecstatic foundation of the first muslim state on South Asian ground? More illusions than welcome realities. To be a citizen of Pakistan means still to be a Muslim, not to participate in democratic and pluralistic rights. The very concept of a modern nation-state demanded a sense of communal identity that went beyond the bonds of faith. Democracy, however ambiguously that ideal is applied, assumes both a diversity of political affiliations and a collective allegiance to the state. In theory, this duality allows a majority and minority groups within a country to participate in the national experience while preserving their own cultural and ethnic identities. The problem in Pakistan, however, is that the concept of representative democracy was never given a fair chance. "Meanwhile it is the darkest irony by that a nation founded on the concept of unity amongst Muslims in South Asia is now torn apart by sectarian strife and violence.
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