Jasmine Historical Context

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The Partition Riots

Jasmine, the title character and narrator of Bharati Mukherjee's novel, was born 18 years after India's Partition Riots, or approximately 1965, in a rural village called Hasnpur. The time of her Indian birth would have been one of political and social upheaval. Two wars between Pakistan and India were fought that year.

The Partition Riots, which play such a key role in Jasmine's family's plight, were an attempt to create separate Muslim and Hindu States. More than 200,000 people died as Hindus .ed their homes in Pakistan and Muslims theirs in India. The province of Punjab was divided between India and the newly-created Pakistan. It became the home to many Hindus.

Jasmine's family, like many Hindus at the time, left behind relative riches in exchange for squalor during the Partition Riots. It was a time of violence and upheaval. Families abandoned not only material wealth, but established roots...

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Literature of Developing Nations for Students
Jasmine from Literature of Developing Nations for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.