~ No. 02 ~
Paint me with Saffron.
Inspired by the works of Rabindranath Tagore, we try to explore the role of Indian identity just after British rule in 1947. Colonial rule used religious lines to separate people but Tagore’s literature always empowered the repressed.
This first moment of partition which the British claimed was implemented out of “administrative necessity” on the grounds that Bengal had become ungovernably large, occurred in a moment when stirrings of separate identities were slowly working their way into the nationalist narrative. Differences in beliefs became a dividing factor while class and caste systems were becoming more socially motivating.
When the British administration drew the line of partition in Bengal, they did so in such a way as to separate the largely Hindu areas of the western parts of Bengal from the largely Muslim areas of the eastern parts. Many Hindus who were advocates of Indian nationalism quickly acted to protest the partition organizing boycotts of British goods and giving rise to what became known as the Swadeshi (self-rule) movement together with the Khadi Textile initiative emphasised by Gandhi’s advocation.
Textiles became a way to hold onto cultural representation, a way to carry on Indian traditions in a pragmatic sense. Self-sufficiency as a way to unite through collective effort. Even to this day the effects of such monumental social disruption are felt but we hope to re-examine the works of those who were brave enough to carry the torch through similar issues. The words of Tagore echo strongly, where one must not desire sheltering from dangers, but to be fearless when facing them.