(Re)Constructing the Nation in Sunlight on a Broken Column: Hossain's Perspective on the Partition of the Subcontinent





Nation, Nationalism, Narration, Partition


Gellner (1983) defines a nation as a myth whereas nationalism is an ideology through which people (re)invent traditions and culture to construct a nation. Nationalism revives extinct languages and reimagines extinct customs. To strengthen their nation's discourse, South Asian female writers have contributed significantly to the invention of traditions and the reconstruction of their lost culture. By addressing her nation's history and culture in her work, Hosain has also bolstered her national discourse. It is commonly known that history is typically presented through the eyes of men. Even though women have contributed substantially to the national process, their opinions are not included in history books. Since men write history, history favors men by making them the main heroes. This study aims to provide a female viewpoint on the history of the partition of the subcontinent. Thus, the researcher has selected Attia Hossain's novel, Sunlight on a Broken Column, to view her perspective on the nation and the partition of India. The concept of a nation is complex to comprehend. Different theorists have different definitions of the nation. Renan (1883), Hobsbawm and Ranger (1983), and Anderson's (1991) theories related to the nation have been used to construct a theoretical framework for this research. This study investigates factors contributing to the construction of a nation and nation-state by referencing the partition of the sub-continent and the formation of two nation-states, Pakistan and India.


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Author Biographies

Aqsa Kiran Safeer, The Women University Multan, Pakistan.

Ph.D. Scholar, The Department of English

Asmat A Shiekh, The Women University Multan, Pakistan.

Associate Professor (Rtd), The Department of English




How to Cite

Safeer, A. K., & Shiekh, A. A. (2024). (Re)Constructing the Nation in Sunlight on a Broken Column: Hossain’s Perspective on the Partition of the Subcontinent. Pakistan Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 12(2), 1166–1173. https://doi.org/10.52131/pjhss.2024.v12i2.2207