Christopher Lydon, host of Radio Open Source, has just done a valuable series of interviews with South Asians, nearly all Pakistanis. Called Another Pakistan, the people he speaks to about the state of the region include novelists, artists, singers, journalists, historians, activists, and others. Though they all seem to come from the region's English-speaking upper crust, a lot of their perspectives and many-layered stories still find little or no room in the cramped narrative of Pakistan in the West, including on the pivotal role of the Partition in shaping so many of the pathologies in the region. The interviews run for many hours but a condensed two-hour version with selections from the longer interviews is a good place to start (I'm just starting to work my way through some others).
One interview I enjoyed for the most part was with Ashis Nandy. He “has just made his own study, in 1500 interviews, of the wounds of the 1947 Partition of India and Pakistan — among the searing and decisive memories of his own boyhood in Calcutta. The snippet that leaps out at him now is that 40 percent of his sample called up stories of themselves and others being helped through that orgy of blood and death by “somebody from the other side.” In no other genocide, Nandy says, can he find a comparable measure of mercy. “There is that part of the story, too,” he is saying. “That is South Asia.” Click below to listen (via 3QD).