Digitalizing 1947: A Postmodernist Analysis of the Shifting Faces of Communitarian Identity

  • Dr. Asma Aftab Assistant Professor, Department of English, Government College University, Faisalabad
  • Sadia Akram PhD Scholar & Lecturer, Department of English, Government College University, Faisalabad
  • Dr. Muhammad Asif Assistant Professor, Department of English, Government College University, Faisalabad
Keywords: Digitalizing Past, Subaltern History, Communitarian Identity, Performance, Paratextuality, Nationalist Xenophobia.


This paper deals with the problem of identity during and after the Partition of the Indian Subcontinent in 1947. It focuses on the portrayal of the shifting faces of communitarian identity/politics by analyzing two digital versions of this historical event – one is Mehreen Jabbar's drama-film Ramchand Pakistani and the other is the adapted version of Razia Butt's novel Bano, broadcast by a private T.V Channel with the title of Dastaan. Based on the postmodernist shift from performance to performance, our argument foregrounds the digital representation of 1947 which offers new angles to view the subaltern story(ies) vis-à-vis the official history of nationalism by showing different characters who experience a fleeing sense of identity in their attempt to cope with the trauma of displacement and violence during 1947. In this article, the textual and digital versions of 1947 are read as cultural texts which embody the human and subjective experience and perceptions of ordinary human subjects from both sides of the divide, either during the historical event of Partition as sufferers or survivors or in current scenario in the wake of the politics of mistrust between Pakistan and India. The study concludes that digitalizing the history of 1947 offers an introspective representation of myriad experiences of people and their past which is different from a retrospective illustration of official history with its nationalist certitude and xenophobia.