Memories of Partition: Shiv K. Kumar’s - A River With Three Banks
Shiv K. Kumar’s, A River With Three Banks is a novel delineating the theme of Partition. As Partition meant parting of ways between the Hindus and the Muslims, Kumar’s novel deals with the utter discord between the two major communities of India. The novel suggests the dissolution of the first pattern of communal discord that emerged with the Partition of the subcontinent. The ill-will and antagonism between the Hindus and Muslims has been projected through killings, arson and molestation of women in the novel. Communal hatred that engulfs the city of Delhi has been presented in all its ugliness through incidents described in the novel. The death and destruction that is perpetrated by both the communities on each other is a grotesque reminder of the folly of man who cannot feel the pain and misery of another. The writer, however, concludes the narrative on a subtle note of hope and promise.
Creative writers, unless they chose like Raja Rao to completely ignore Partition, have been writing about it ever since 1947. The heat and dust raised by the catastrophe did not settle down for a long time. The unnaturalness of communal strife that gripped the country at that time is still beyond human understanding. Kumar has used the backdrop of Partition in his novel as “a gift of British diplomacy which thrived on the political ambition and the resultant myopia of the seekers of power who chose the trauma for glory.”1. What is different about the novel is that here the writer does not give the picture of different communities living peacefully. Partition has already drifted them apart as the narrative begins.
For Kumar Partition is an experience that he lived and felt as he himself migrated from Lahore to Delhi in August 1947. Thus, in A River With Three Banks he looks back at the event after a gap of...