Write a short essay (250-300 words) on the following:
Examine the strengths and limitations of oral history. How have oral-history techniques furthered our understanding of Partition?
Oral history techniques help historians to write experiences of people during the time of partition. In fact, history of partition has been reconstructed with the help of oral narratives. It is not possible to extract such kind of information from government records. Government would not provide such information which paint them in bad colour. It will also not tell about the daily development of the events during the partition. Moreover, Government was involved in negotiation. Documents of government deal with policy matters and throw light on efforts of major political parties.
But the oral history tells the day to day account. It is told by the people who have actually gone through the trauma and pains of the partition.But the oral data is not free from limitations. Oral data lacks concrete details. It does not have the chronological order. Oral accounts are concerned with tangential issues and that small individual experiences are irrelevant to the unfolding of the larger canvas of history. In oral history people may not talk their personal aspects. They can hide even their fault or fault of their community as a whole. Many people may not remember all events. People tend to forget also. Accuracy of narration can also be questioned.