Reflection on Remembering Partition

In “Remembering Partition,” the author, Gyanendra Pandey, works to establish a definition of three separate partitions under the overarching Partition of India in 1947. He asserts that a division is not often seen between the three, which I strongly agree with because before having read this article, I thought the division of India was made up simply of tragic mass killings due to religious tensionPakis that lead to the partition, but there is much more to it which Pandey explains well. The author explains that the story is told in many ways by many different people but doesn’t seem to have any bias for one explanation. He does stick mainly to the Hindu/Sikh “Indian” version but that can easily be argued as him trying to stick to the more commonly known history.

The First Partition is the most important in my opinion as well as seemingly Pandey’s, the official partition of Pakistan and India which was argued from 1940-1947. The main issues that occurred foreshadowed the second and third, Muslims in India didn’t want to leave home and the same went for Sikhs/Hindus in either province of Pakistan. Nobody felt it necessary to leave their “vatan,” or homeland, which lead to major violence. The worst event that came as a precursor to this partition was the Day of Action in 1946, in which several thousands were killed in four days after the Muslim League attempted to propose extra-constitutional actions and abandoned negotiations with the Congress of India. This is the most important of the partitions as it represents the cause of the literal Partition between India and Pakistan, and Pandey backs up the gravity of this partition with endless places that hundreds and even thousands of people were killed as a precursor and then in the aftermath.

The Second and Third Partitions are also important, as they are less recognized issues. The Second was the splitting of Punjabs and Bengals, when all of the the Sikhs and Hindus were evicted from West Pakistan and the Muslims from the East. This cause riots and killing sprees as well as people tried to cleanse their regions and others fleed in fear of the stories of beatings, burnings and battles between religions. The central focus of the Third is the overarching refugee crisis that happened as a result of the partitions. People were forced to leave their homes in search of their religion’s designated province. This is clearly the silent hell story of the Partition. It’s easily relatable to the current situation with Syrian refugees fleeing in fear of being killed, and the US now not accepting them and refugees from five other states. The provinces closed their borders, including the UP, Kalka, and Pakistan.

Bruffee’s Collaboration Summary

In the piece “Collaborative Learning and the ‘Conversation of Mankind,'” Kenneth Bruffee simply discusses the meaning and necessity of collaboration. At first, it seems like to simple an idea for a dedicated writing piece; but, Bruffee begins by delving into its past, including a study done on medical students that showed talking about a potential diagnosis as a group made them learn faster and more efficiently then if they were individually attempting to make the same diagnosis. A commonly used kind of collaboration in college is peer tutoring. Working with someone your age and talking out issues in coursework helps the tutee develop better methods of thought when it comes to the subject. This is because, as Bruffee tries to say, thought is merely conversation in your mind and writing is thought that is brought back into public conversation on paper. The way we talk translates into our thinking and writing capabilities, so in order to encourage intelligent thinking and writing teachers must first start by engaging their students in appropriately stimulating conversation.

But where does a teacher derive the authority to do so? Bruffee presents three alternatives: first, a teacher can be viewed as a “secular [version] of the mind of God,” a leader blindly followed by their students. Secondly, the closer one finds oneself to the “greatest minds” the more power is held. Last, teachers are “in direct touch with the objective world” and have the first hand experience to guide.

Bruffee’s point is to justify how important collaboration truly is in the educational process as well as the world as a whole. He mentions Oakeshott’s “Conversation of Mankind” when talking about how giving students access to such broadens their own theoretical conversational skills. At the end of the day he believes every student should understand that to truly know something, they must be able to write about it intelligently enough to satisfy their community of peers, emphasizing the meaning of social learning.