Partitions of the Heart: Unmaking the Idea of India

In Partitions of the Heart: Unmaking the Idea of India, human rights and peace worker Harsh Mander takes stock of whether the republic has upheld the values it set out to achieve and offers painful, unsparing insight into the contours of hate violence. Through vivid stories from his own work, Mander shows that hate speech, communal propaganda and vigilante violence are mounting a fearsome climate of dread, that targeted crime is systematically fracturing our community, and that the damage to the country’s social fabric may be irreparable. At the same time, he argues that hate can indeed be fought, but only with solidarity, reconciliation and love, and when all of these are founded on fairness.

‘At last a book that turns a powerful searchlight on the evil tide of hatred and violence stalking our country, where our minorities live in fear, and Muslims among us are killed under a government that has declared war on Islam.’ —Nayantara Sahgal, journalist, author of Day of Reckoning: Stories (2015).

‘Harsh Mander’s is the voice of Kabir come alive in our violent times. We can hear it to our redemption, ignore it to our peril.’ —Gopalkrishna Gandhi, former administrator and diplomat, Governor of West Bengal 2004-2009

This book is absolutely mandatory reading. You owe it to the much-vaunted “motherland” which is being abused so shamelessly.’—Kiran Nagarkar,ovelist, playwright, film critic and screenwriter.

A riveting documentation of the unmaking of India.’—K.R. Meera, Indian author and journalist, who writes in Malayalam

‘Harsh Mander chillingly unravels the grotesqueness of today’s India. If this book does not awaken you to the horrors of divisive politics propagated, nothing can.’—T.M. Krishna — Indian Carnatic vocalist, writer, activist, author and Ramon Magsaysay awardee

ISBN Print: 9781990263668
Publication Date: October 2023
Binding Type: Soft cover
Trim Size: 6in x 9in
Language: English
Colour: B&W

USD $ 24.00


Table of Contents


Preface to the International Edition: A Ravaged Democracy,

Preface to the Indian Edition: A Gathering Darkness;

Prologue: Junaid, My Son,

1. Whatever Happened in Gulberg Society?

2. The Ethics of Collective Vengeance

3. Borders in Gujarat

4. Nationalising the Gujarat Model

5. Less Than a Cow

6. ‘Encounter’ Killings, Terror Innocents and the Wages of Official Prejudice

7. ‘Loving’ By Hating

8. The Multiple Betrayal of Secular Parties

9. ‘Anti-National’ Conversions

10. Communal Violence, Lynching and Counterfeit Peace

11. Hate Lynching and a Journey of Love

12. The Unmaking of India

13. Partitions of the Heart,

If I Could Turn Back Time,


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