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Televising the Partition of British India: Memory, identity and the privatisation of the past in 70th anniversary commemorative broadcasting

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-12-16, 15:08 authored by Clelia Clini, Jasmine Hornabrook, Emily KeightleyEmily Keightley
2017 marked the 70th anniversary of the end of colonial rule in British India and of the division of the country into the two independent states of India and Pakistan. To commemorate the event, in August 2017, the BBC broadcast a series of programmes focused specifically on Partition. Focusing on My Family, Partition and Me: India 1947, this article analyses the programme’s structure and rhetorical strategies, with particular reference to its representation of the empire and of contemporary postcolonial Britain. We argue that the show, by merging personal and national histories, successfully promotes an inclusive perspective on Britishness, in line with the BBC’s inclusivity remit, which also emphasises the multicultural character of Britain as a result of its colonial history. The emphasis on individualised account of suffering and resilience, however, leaves Partition circumscribed within the “temporary madness” narrative, thus limiting the show’s engagement with the politics of colonialism and decolonisation.

Funding

Leverhulme Trust: [grant number RL-2016-076]

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Communication and Media

Published in

Media History

Volume

28

Issue

4

Pages

543-559

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Taylor & Francis under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

2021-06-13

Publication date

2021-07-29

Copyright date

2022

ISSN

1368-8804

eISSN

1469-9729

Language

  • en

Depositor

Dr Clelia Clini. Deposit date: 14 June 2021

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