This study guide will help you analyze an excerpt from Urvashi Butalia’s essay “Blood” (1997). In addition to help for your analysis, you can find a summary of the text and ideas for putting it into perspective.

Urvashi Butalia (b. 1952) is an Indian feminist publisher and writer. She co-founded the publishing house Kali for Women, which focused on publishing feminist and marginalized voices. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the Padma Shri in 2011, one of India's highest civilian awards.  She has also authored several books, including The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India, which explores the experiences of survivors of the partition of India in 1947. The essay “Blood” from which this short excerpt is taken, eventually became a chapter in her book. However, it first appeared in the 57th issue of the Granta magazine , which celebrated 50 years since India’s independence. 

Excerpt from the study guide: 

Butalia also introduces a personal anecdote to show how she came to reconsider the stories about the Partition when she heard them again as an adult: 

Two years later, working on a film about Partition for a British television channel, I began to collect stories from its survivors. Many were horrific and of a kind that, when I was younger and heard them second or third hand, I had found them hard to believe […]. Now I was hearing them from witnesses whose bitterness, rage and hatred […] told me that they were speaking the truth.


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