Madness, Trauma and Medicine: Psychiatry in the Indian Army during the Second World War (1939-1945)
The outbreak of the Second World War found the medical service in India almost totally unprepared to deal with the mental health of the soldiers. Thus, the foundation of the psychiatry department in 1943 under the IAMC (Indian Army Medical Corps) shows that the issue of psychiatry became an unavoidable issue late into the war. This begs the question of whether the department aimed at ‘caring’ for the soldiers, or was it another means to rationalise human resources by re-sending more casualties back to the front.
The paper intends to critically investigate the contemporary notion that psychiatric cases were deemed more salvageable than other casualties, like amputees. It will also explore the problems around the selective outreach of ‘mental health care’ prevalent in the Second World War Indian Army.
Satarupa Lahiri is a PhD candidate in the Centre for Historical Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University
Rehabilitating refugee women in Partition’s aftermath: Bombay’s Home Industries, 1947-1958
Unquestionably the main victims of Partition were women: Hindu, Sikh and Muslim. Women were killed, violated and abandoned. After independence the brothels of Delhi and Bombay came to be filled with refugee women many who had been thrown out by their families after what someone else had done to them – against their will. This paper aims to shed some light on the efforts at rehabilitating these women and integrating them back into the community. In Bombay after 1947 regional development was heavily intertwined with the growth of satellite townships that housed refugees. The focus of this paper is on the experiences of women. It aims to highlight their significant role and contribution to regional development within the Ulhasnagar refugee township and other refugee colonies within the Bombay State as a result of the technical training they received. In doing this it also hopes to show that women refugees were not only passive victims of Partition, rather they actively participated in both rehabilitation schemes and attempts to drive regional development.
Sandip Kana is a PhD candidate in the History Department of King’s College London.
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