Understanding Trauma and Reconciliation following Mass Violence of a Political Nature (India)

There have been few studies addressing the issues of reconciliation and justice on the Indian subcontinent after the Partition riot of 1947, which resulted in the estimated loss of over a million lives and the largest faith-based population movement the world had ever seen. Since then, the country has repeatedly been scarred by major episodes of communal violence. Since the 1980s, the minority communities have been demonized, school textbooks have been rewritten and cinema has been used to propagate a dangerously communal, undemocratic and patriarchal vision of Indian history and culture.

This project will explore two major episodes of communal violence and develop a framework for addressing trauma and reconciliation following mass violence of a political nature in contemporary India. Researchers will review the international and national literature on trauma, reconciliation, reparation and justice for survivors of sectarian violence, and conduct interviews and focus group discussions with survivors of communal conflict and residents of areas affected by the communal divide. The study will also feature, where possible, interviews and discussions with policymakers, political leaders and officials directly responsible for maintaining the peace and protecting all citizens.

The idea is to assist in preventing future violent episodes.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Sunday, July 1, 2007

End Date

Monday, March 30, 2009


12 months

IDRC Officer

Singh, Navsharan

Total funding

CA$ 25,000


India, Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia


Governance and Justice