Lahore: Sanniah Jabeen, a junior at the LUMS Department of Humanities and Social Sciences has recently been awarded the Falak Sufi Memorial Prize of USD 100 by the Falak Sufi Memorial Committee for an essay submitted in May 2012.
The Falak Sufi Memorial Prize is a venture that aims to contribute to the vibrancy of the study of humanities and social sciences in Pakistan by annually inviting entries from Pakistani students, both at undergraduate and graduate levels, to submit a paper of a maximum 5000 words that must come under the vast umbrella of gender studies.
Jabeen submitted a paper titled “Forgotten Voices: Breaking the historiographical silence of women during Partition by using Saadat Manto’s Open It”.
The Partition of 1947 is a hotly debated topic that the academia strive to fully understand even decades later. While it is agreed by the scholarship, generally, that non-fiction humanistic accounts on the Partition, especially those of women, are scarce, Sanniah argues in her paper that a humanistic dimension into the sufferings of women during the Partition can be obtained by surveying Post-Partition fiction pieces. In her essay she goes on to survey Saadat Manto’s short story ‘Open It’ to explore the effectiveness of his use of women’s bodies as the main motif to express the themes of violence, oppression, sexual harassment and stripping of honour during 1947.
While the Falak Sufi Prize Committee decided not to award a prize at all this year, they claim to be “impressed by the appreciation of fiction and Manto’s oeuvre as modalities of recounting histories of the Partition” and awarded Jabeen an appreciation prize and plan to feature this news on their website soon.