Thursday, July 4, 2013

ISPaD: Indian Subcontinent Partition Documentation Project Inc.

     Sachi G Dastidar
     Several Bengali-Americans in New York, individuals whose families were victims of Partition in the Indian Subcontinent – especially in Bengal – formed a partition documentation project called ISPaD or Indian Subcontinent Partition Documentation Project to save the history and experiences of lost and displaced individuals and families, their villages, their life, and that of survivors and protectors.

     The Project has received not-for-profit status from the Department of Education and the Department of State of New York State and a 503-C-3 tax-exempt status from the I.R.S. (of the U.S. Government). Ispad is open to all.
    Currently the Project is governed by a 7-member Board, with a Project Coordinator who is in-charge of day-to-day operation.
Wagha-Atari Pakistan-India traveler-less Border Crossing
     To help us please join  The Indian Subcontinent Partition Documentation (ISPaD) Project group in Facebook.

Some of the purposes for which the Corporation is formed include:

a.       Collection of personal stories of victims of partition of Indian Subcontinent, and that of survivors and protectors;

b.      Collection of historical records related to Indian Subcontinent partition;

c.       Study and documentation of partition-related demographic and social changes;

d.      To publish, disseminate, share stories and documents for readers in New York and beyond;

e.       To create bridges among partition victims and non-victims in the Subcontinent and in other countries including the U.S.;

f.      Organize meetings, seminars, scholarly research;

g.      Collaborate with established academic studies of displacement and genocide;

h.        To provide funds for partition documentation projects.  
To donate, please check out
The ISPaD Project is a 501(c)3 (nonprofit) organization and donations are tax deductible.
A Family standing in remains of their Torched Home after a Pogrom

     Ispad is looking for individual and family stories, documents, pictures, narratives, deeds, artifacts, books, family history, stories of refugee survivors and lost ones, tapes, films, videos of victims and survivors of primarily of Bengal partitions – 1905, from 1946 through now, including 1947 and 1971, as well as from other divided regions of the Subcontinent.

Documents can be mailed to Ispad, c/o Dr. S G. Dastidar, Politics, Economics and Law Department, State University of New York, NY 11568, or to Ispad, c/o Mrs. Nanda Das 377A Prince Anwar Shah Road, Flat 4D, Sudhakshina, Calcutta 700 068 or to through Internet.

As it is a costly project we are looking for your generous help. Email inquiries may be sent to and checks may be sent for Ispad, 85-60 Parsons Blvd, Jamaica, NY 11432; or donate through PayPal or through Causes at Facebook at . Every penny helps.

At this time Ispad is........

A. Collecting books and documents, papers, notes, pictures, letters;

B. Organizing annual conferences in October in New York;

C. Publishing a bi-annual newsletters;

D. Publishing a journal;

E. Representing Ispad in various forums, hearings, conferences and meetings;

F. Bridging with diverse groups;

G. Organizing seminars, inviting guests speakers, and holding cultural events in New York.

We invite all to submit papers for our journal, proposals for papers to be presented for our conferences, and notes and short writings for our newsletters.

Partition Documentation Center (New York) Conference
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Call for Papers
Final Call for Papers Submission Deadline is September 6th, 2013

As in previous years, we invite panel and individual paper submissions on a wide range of topics that may include, but are not limited to, studies similar to The ISPaD Project. We encourage submissions of traditional academic conference papers and panel formats, as well as alternative, creative collaborative, and site-specific presentations, workshops, roundtables, etc., from academics, independent scholars, artists, cultural producers, activists, community workers, and all seeking a setting in which to present research.
         We invite panel and individual paper submissions on a wide range of topics that may include but are not limited to the following s
Partition studies; 1947 Indian Partition, past and present; Partition and aftermath; Partitions of Bengal, Punjab, Kashmir and Assam; Pakistan and Bangladesh independence; Ireland, Cyprus, the Balkans, Europe, Palestine, Mideast, Korea, the former Soviet Union, and Africa; Reconciliation and forgiveness; Unity; Identity; History; Colonial borders; Narratives of refugees, survivors and protectors; First person account; Division’s long-term effects; Minority issues in divided lands; Effects of displaced peoples on host population; Indigenous peoples, their language, culture and religion; Longing for home; Nationalism; Extremism; Religion; Tolerance and intolerance; Music, literature and art influencing politics; and Student Research.
Date: Saturday, October 19, 2013
Time: 8:30 AM
Place: New Academic Building, State University of New York, Old Westbury, Long Island, New York 11568
Please send a 150-word proposal to or to Partition Documentation Center, 85-60 Parsons Blvd, Jamaica (Queens), New York 11426, U.S.A. Phone: 917-623-8554 

     ISPaD has been collection narratives of refugees, protectors and survivors. Please check YouTube's ISPaD Project’s Channel ispad1947 or Indian Subcontinent Partition Documentation:

 Some of the narratives are from:
Acharjee, Abinash
Ahsan, Syed Badrul
Ahsan, Syeda Zakia
Ambardar, Lalit
Baidya, Tapan
Dr. Om Prakash Bali
Mrs Prayrena Mohan Bali
Mr. Dulal Banik
Barua, Dr. Chinmoyee Roy
Barua, Mr. Sureet
Barua, Mrs. Tripti 
Barua, Mr. Ratan
Bhaduri, Ranjit
Dr Dwijen Bhattacharya
Bhowmik, Mrs. MAYA RANI
Mr. Rup Kumar Bhowmik
Bishi, Bijan

Biswas, Dr. Monorama
Biswas, Mr. Sudhir Kumar
Brahmachari, Dr Radheshyam
Mr. Dhruba Chakraborty
Mr Shyamal Chakraborti
Chatterjee, Amitabha
Chatterjee, Biswanath
Mr. Rathin Chowhdury
Christopher, Mr. Sajid
Chowdhury, Sanjeeb
Chowdhury, Saud
Das, Pradip
Dasgupta, Nani Gopal
Mr. Ajit Datta
Ms. Aroma Datta
Mr. Rabindranath Datta
Datta, Dr. Ranajit Kumar
Dr. Samir Datta
Mrs. Tripti Datta
Dr. Amalendu De
De, Dipak
De, Mrs. Esha
Ms. Nazima Banu De
Dr. Prafulla De
Dey, Priyatosh
De, Swapna
Dr. Swapan Gayen
Mr. Swapan Gangopadhy
Ghosh, Mrs. Durga
Ghosh Dastidar, Samarendra
Dr. Susila Gidwani
Gomes, Mr. Mohon 
Gomes, Mr. Rezina
Mr. Saibal Guha
Mr. Sitangshu Guha
Haldar, Mr. Angan
Mr. Jamal Hasan
Mr. Khourshedul Islam
Pahuja,Dr.  Jagan
Kalra Mr. Narendra
Mr. Ashok Karmakar
Kataria, Narain
Lohani, Kamal
Malakar, Pradip
Mazumder, ANJU RANI
Mazundar, Nandita
Mazundar, Subhas
Mazumdar, Dr Subinay
Melwani, Murli
Mr. Sushen Mitra
Mitra, Mrs. Sumita
Mondol, Prof Chitta
Motwani, Dr. Jagat
Motwani, Lal
Mookherji, Dr. Tripti K
Nabi, Dr. Nuran
Nath, Dilip
Dipa Nath
Nath, Ramesh
Mr. Selim Reza Noor
Mr. Fahim Reza Nur
Dr. Sankar Parial
Paul, Dr Jayashre
Mr. Bimal Pramanik
Rahman, Dr Rizwanur
Raina, Nanjee
Raina, Dr. Ramesh
Razdan, Triloki Nath
Roy, Dr Helen
Dr. Jiten Roy
Roy, Kumud R

Shampa Roy
Dr Thomas Dulu Roy
Roy Chowdhury, Mr Naresh
Saha, Dhakksha Ranjan
Saha, Mrs. Chhaya
Saha, Rajen
Dr. Subrata Saha
Mr. Arish Sahani
Bidyut  Sarkar
Mrs. Bimala & Gopa Sarkar
Dr. Subhas Sikdar
Sen, Mrs. Ila
Sen, Dr. Amitabha 
Sen, Mr. Mono 
Sengupta, Dr. Hironmoy
Sengupta, Mrs. Yasmeen
Sinha, Mr. Prasanta
Thorne, Dr. Richard
Tikoo, Col Dr Tej K

Annual Conferences:
     ISPaD is organizing annual conference starting in 2010. The first conference in 2010 was held on October 16, the date when Bengal Province in British India was divided into Muslim Bengal and Hindu Bengal by the Colonial British Administration when there was no demand for such a partition either from the majority Muslims or from the minority Hindus.

     Report of the First 2010 Conference: 

"The Indian Subcontinent Partition Documentation Project’s (ISPaD) Conference on Partition Documentation was held recently at State University of New York at Old Westbury, NY. It was a truly momentous occasion. The three organizers – Mr. Pratip Dasgupta, Dr. Sachi G. Dastidar, and Dr. Shefali S. Dastidar – saw it realized after a lifetime of effort. The partition of India in 1947 and the fallout thereafter, which continues to affect the Subcontinent and the world, is remarkably something very few know about with tremendous social, political, and even economic ramifications. The forum heard from three categories of affected individuals: refugees, survivors and protectors. It heard from Mr. Arabinda Biswas, a Hindu survivor and a displaced person; Prof. Dr. Syed Abu Hasnath, a Muslim refugee; Dr. Nuran Nabi, a Muslim freedom fighter and a protector; Mr. Adarsha Barua, a Buddhist victim, as well as from Sachi G. Dastidar, Pratip Dasgupta and Dr. Shefali S. Dastidar, Hindu refugees. Dr. Caroline Sawyer discussed partition’s effect on the Punjab region while Dr. Sushila Gidwani expressed her appreciation of the project especially for a refugee from Sind Province of Pakistan. Some of the guests included peoples from partitioned countries like Ethiopia, Korea and Pakistan. ISPaD hopes to publish the presentations through their website www.bengal For additional comments and future activity please feel free to write to  or call the ISPaD office." -- report by Shuvo G. Dastidar

Report of the Second Conference, 2011:

Open-air Conference Luncheon at the State University of New York, Old Westbury
Partition: Past and Present: A Conference Report
  On Saturday, October 15, 2011 the Indian Subcontinent Partition Documentation Project held its 2nd conference at the State University in association with Panther Pride Week, sort of homecoming. Theme was: Partition: Past and Present by Shuvo G. Dastidar
     The conference was opened by Professor Sachi G. Dastidar, head of the project and organizer of the conference, with an introduction of the project and the focus of this year’s conference. It was followed by Mr. Ramen Nandi, Member of ISPaD Board, who in his Keynote address reminded the participants of the need to preserve the history of displaced or lost peoples, protecting minorities and human rights workers. While welcoming the scholars Dean Barbara Hillery indicated SUNY Old Westbury’s aim of supporting scholarly discourse. Vice President Len Davis expressed his support for the project. Speakers and participants came from far and near and covered diverse topics. The panel on Moral and Rights Issues covered topics of  “Gandhiji, Nonviolence and Jainism” by Mr. Arvind Vora. Mr. Samir Kalra, Esq., and Dr. Aravind Chandrakantan’s paper covered “The Enemy Property Act of Bangladesh,” while Professor Chitta Mondol spoke on “Partitions of India and its Aftermath.” The panel on Around the World covered presentations by Dr. Jong Pil Lee, (Division of Korea) and Mr. Khaledur Rahman Shakil (A bloody Birth of Bangladesh), a rights activist, who came from Bangladesh. On Old Westbury Research panel Mr. Farhan Imtiaz spoke on “Learning about Partition,” Ms. Ronghua Guan on “Kashmir in Partitioned Subcontinent,” Mr. Shadeed Stephen spoke on “Darfur of Sudan,” and Ms. Lydia Coleman on “Roma in Europe.” Mr. Farhan, a Pakistani-Muslim descent, was the first intern of ISPaD, revealed to the participants of his great experience while interning as a poor student. Now as a working professional presented ISPaD $50 from his first paycheck.  On the emotional panel of Displacement/Memories of Refugees, Survivors and Protectors – First Person Narratives several individuals spoke of  their
personal experience of survival. They included Dr. Subhas Sikder (First Person Narrative from Bangladesh), Mr. Sitangshu Guha (First Person Narrative in Bangladesh), Mr. Sajid Christopher (Pakistan Minorities and Religious Freedom) and Mr. Pratip Dasgupta (First Hand Account of working for the underprivileged in India and Bangladesh).
  The History, Politics and Literature panel covered presentations of Mr. Shuvo G. Dastidar (From both Sides of the Partitioned Bengal Border), Ms. Natasha Raheja (Sharing our Stories: Sindh Province, Pakistan), Dr. Narayan Hegde (Partition Literature). While Union and Separation panel covered presentations of Professor Dr. Parvaiz Morewedge (USA and Four Challenges), Dr. Caroline Sawyer (Gurdwara Nanak Shahi, Sikh Temple in Dhaka),  Dr. Sachi G. Dastidar (Mahilara, Bangladesh – Before and After) and Dr. Kevin Ozgercin (The Rise of Political Islam and the De-Militarization of the Turkish State: Implications for Turkish Foreign Policy).
  Panels were chaired by Dr. Shefali S. Dastidar, professors Dr. Judith Walsh, Dr. Eloise Linger, Dr. Kevin Ozgercin and Dr. Larry Krause.  Some other participants included Professor Dr. Techa Getanie, Professor Dr. Dwijen Bhattacharya, Professor Tom Lilly, human rights activists Narain Kataria, Rup Bhowmik, Dr. Banani Nandi, New York Bengali paper editor Mr. Pabitra Chaudhuri, Mr. Arish Sahani and many more.
  A photo exhibit of “Home” by Dr. Caroline Sawyer adorned the conference. The conference ended with an outdoor American lunch in that sunny Indian summer-like weather.
Report of the Third Conference, 2012:
Third ISPaD (2012) Partition: Past & Present Conference: A Report
Shuvo Dastidar
     The Indian Subcontinent Partition Documentation (ISPaD) Project’s Third Conference was held at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Old Westbury on a beautiful, sunny, Long Island fall day of October 13, 2012.  The conference was a part of campus’ annual homecoming-type event called Panther Pride, a panther being the mascot of Old Westbury campus.
     The Conference began with a welcoming address by the Chair of the Executive Board, Distinguished Service Professor Dr. Sachi Dastidar, followed by a Keynote Address by a founding member of The ISPaD Project, Dr. Shefali Dastidar, a New York City urban planner.  Mr. Len Davis, Vice President of SUNY, Old Westbury, stated briefly about ISPaD and Panther Pride’s main objectives. He also invited the participants for joining “Panther Week / Home coming” celebration at the campus.
     Panels in multiple sessions resulted in a wide variety of papers on partition, division, union, development, memories, history, art and culture. Some of the presenters and their papers included, Ms. Reshmi Koul, Boston,  “Kashmiri Hindus - Living in Exile; Effects of Ethnic cleansing and Forced Displacement on Health & Wellness;”  Dr. Thomas Lilly, SUNY OW, “The Effect of the Belfast Agreement of 1998;”  Mr. Shuvo Dastidar & Shadeed Stephen, NY, “What Can Be Done and How It Can Be Done (to help NGO's like ISPaD) Using a Variety of Platforms on the Internet;” Prof. Jill Hamberg, SUNY Empire State, “Cuba's Recent Policy of Reforms: the Case of Housing;” Dr. Jagat Motwani, NY, “Journey without Destination” from Pakistan to India; Mr. Ramen Nandi, NJ, “Enemy Property Act and Acquisition of (Minority) Hindu Properties in Bangladesh;” Mr. Shadeed Stephen, SUNY OW, “Post 9/11 Profiling;” Mr. Pratip Dasgupta, NYC, “Identity Crisis of the Refugees;” Mr. Sanjeev Chowdhury, Bangladesh, “Tribals of the Tea Garden in Post-Partition Bangladesh;” Dr. Sukrita Paul Kumar, India, “Narrating Partition: The Oral Into the Written;” Dr. Habibe Rahim, “On Partitions and Borders: the Human Quest for Solidarity and Harmony according to Jalauddin Rumi;” Mrs. Subhra Goswami, NYC, “Role of Music and Dance in Uniting and Dividing People in Bengal and India” accompanied by dances performed by Ms. Sweta Goswami – a U.S.-born business management expert and exponent of Indian performing arts.
     On the occasion of the conference a journal – a first for ISPaD – was brought out by ISPaD Project that included articles by Dr. Sachi G. Dastidar, Dr. Saradindu Mukherji of India, Mr. Bimal Pramanik a Bangladesh freedom fighter now living in India, Professor Jill Hamberg of New York, among others, and messages sent by many individuals supporting the conference. Sessions were chaired by Dr. Caroline Sawyer, Dr. Perwiz Morewedge, Dr. Narayan Hegde, and Dr. Larry Krause. Lively discussions included not only Americans but also individuals with roots in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Guyana, Trinidad, Ireland and Persia. Several students of ISPaD Studies Club of SUNY Old Westbury worked hard to make the conference a success, among them were Lydia Coleman, Tara Campbell and Sunayina Yadav.
     The conference ended with an open-air lunch outside Campus Center Atrium. Many of the conference participants joined the rides, games and outdoor activities that were part of the Panther Pride Week.
Speaker at the 2012 Conference
Partition Center Journal, October 2012;
     The 2012 journal contained articles by Derek O.Brien, Bimal Pramanik, Jill Hamberg, Thomas Lilly, Sachi G. Dastidar, and Ispad Committee.
    The journal was financed by grants from Elizabeth M. Barna, Esq., Drs. Samir & Nirmala Sarkar, Prof. Tom & Teresa Lilly, Dastidar Family, Arun & Banasree, Ispad Center, Pratip Dasgupta, Srikant and Anindita Mookherjee, Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities and American Hindu Public Affairs Council. 
We are looking for your generous help through Causes at Facebook at

Email inquiries may be sent to and checks may be sent for Ispad, c/o PEL Department, SUNY, Old Westbury, NY 11568.  Every penny helps.