By Mimlu Sen

Mimlu Sen resides a bohemian existence in Paris whilst she witnesses an electrifying functionality by means of 3 wandering minstrels from rural India. They put on flowing, multicoloured gowns and play frenetic rhythms on unusual tools made from wooden and clay, taking pictures the various moods of nature and fervour. After her turbulent earlier, together with a 12 months in a Calcutta penal complex, Mimlu immediately understands it's time to trigger at the trip of her lifestyles. one of many minstrels, Paban Das Baul, is a talented younger musician with a starting to be foreign popularity. Mimlu defies prejudice to commute with him deep into the center of Bengal, the agricultural hinterland at the back of Calcutta the place few travelers ever cross. during this attention-grabbing and strange booklet, she describes how they make their means throughout nation, from shanty city to village, from monastery to pageant, perched at the roofs of buses and squeezed inside of trains, encountering tantrics and sages, exorcisms and witch sightings, catfish that climb timber and esoteric secrets and techniques - and fall in love. With Paban's encouragement, Mimlu too plays for alms - 'gathering honey' within the conventional Baul method - and is initiated right into a hidden global of music, sensuality and experience as wild and unpredictable because the panorama itself.

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According to Kamlabehn, women who were claimed by their relatives often found it impossible to acknowledge that they had borne children by their abductors. They were compelled by these circumstances to leave their infants in the care of camp officials. Sometimes women were torn between their older children, who were 'correctly' born, and an infant who was the fruit of violence. Thus, although the stand of the government in the Constituent Assembly debates was that children born to abducted women were to be defined as abducted persons--since they were not the result of legitimate unions and because it would be cruel to separate such infants from their in~thers-we can see that these children became defined as the 'undesirables' of the family through practices of the state.

This Congress session was followed by an Inter-Dominion Conference at which the two Dominions now agreed to the steps necessary for the recovery of abducted women and children. T h e implernentatior. of this decision led to a large number of women being recovered from both sides. Between December 1947 and July 1948, 9362 such women were found in India and 5 5 10 in Pakistan. It was also decided that a legal instrument had to be created for the work of such recovery. As a result of an agreement arrived at between the two Dominions, appropriate ordinances were issued in India o n 31 January 1348 and in Pakistan in May 1948.

The immediate problem is to produce a sense ofsecurity and rehabilitate homes and villages which have been broken up and destroyed. Women who have been abducted and forcibly married must be restored to their homes. Mass conversions which have taken place forcibly have no significance or validity and the people affected by them should be given every opportunity to return to their homes and the life of their choice. 61 During these disorders large numbers of women have been abducted on either side and there have been forcible conversions on a large scale.

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