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Televising the partition of British India: memory, identity and the privatization of the past in 70th anniversary commemorative broadcasting
journal contributionposted on 14.06.2021, 14:13 by Clelia Clini, Jasmine Hornabrook, Emily 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.
- Social Sciences and Humanities
- Communication and Media