Pinterest A Sikh family on the road to Punjab in Ultimately, it remains a history layered with absence and silences, even while many mourn and talk about their own trauma. Nearly every Punjabi family — Indian and Pakistani — can tell a tale about a relative uprooted in the night, the old friends and servants left behind, the nostalgia for a cherished house now fallen into new hands. Far fewer are willing to discuss the role of their own locality in contributing to the violence.
Print this page Reasons for partition India and Pakistan won independence in Augustfollowing a nationalist struggle lasting nearly three decades. It set a vital precedent for the negotiated winding up of European empires elsewhere.
Unfortunately, it was accompanied by the largest mass migration in human history of some 10 million. As many as one million civilians died in the accompanying riots and local-level fighting, particularly in the western region of Punjab which was cut in two by the border.
The agreement to divide colonial India into two separate states - one with a Muslim majority Pakistan and the other with a Hindu majority India is commonly seen as the outcome of conflict between the nations' elites. This explanation, however, renders the mass violence that accompanied partition difficult to explain.
One explanation for the chaos in which the two nations came into being, is Britain's hurried withdrawal with the realisation it could ill afford its over-extended empire.
If Pakistan were indeed created as a homeland for Muslims, it is hard to understand why far more were left behind in India than were incorporated into the new state of Pakistan - a state created in two halves, one in the east formerly East Bengal, now Bangladesh and the other 1, kilometres away on the western side of the subcontinent [see map].
It is possible that Mohammed Ali Jinnah, leader of the Muslim League, simply wished to use the demand for a separate state as a bargaining chip to win greater power for Muslims within a loosely federated India. Certainly, the idea of 'Pakistan' was not thought of until the late s.
One explanation for the chaotic manner in which the two independent nations came into being is the hurried nature of the British withdrawal. This was announced soon after the victory of the Labour Party in the British general election of Julyamid the realisation that the British state, devastated by war, could not afford to hold on to its over-extended empire.
This left a great many issues and interests unresolved at the end of colonial rule. In charge of negotiations, the viceroy exacerbated difficulties by focusing largely on Jinnah's Muslim League and the Indian National Congress led by Jawaharlal Nehru.
The two parties' representative status was established by Constituent Assembly elections in Julybut fell well short of a universal franchise. Tellingly, although Pakistan celebrated its independence on 14 August and India on 15 Augustthe border between the two new states was not announced until 17 August.
It was hurriedly drawn up by a British lawyer, Cyril Radcliffe, who had little knowledge of Indian conditions and with the use of out-of-date maps and census materials.
Communities, families and farms were cut in two, but by delaying the announcement the British managed to avoid responsibility for the worst fighting and the mass migration that had followed. Top Tensions in India Many have wondered why the British and Indian leaders did not delay until a better deal over borders could have been agreed.
One explanation is that in the months and years immediately following World War Two, leaders on all sides were losing control and were keen to strike a deal before the country descended into chaos. Immediately before World War Two, India was ravaged by the impact of the Great Depression, bringing mass unemployment.
This created tremendous tensions exacerbated during the war by inflation and food grain shortages. Rationing was introduced in Indian cities and in Bengal a major famine developed in The resulting discontent was expressed in widespread violence accompanying the Congress party's 'Quit India' campaign of - a violence only contained by the deployment of 55 army battalions.
The last months of British rule were marked by a naval mutiny, wage strikes and successful demonstrations in every major city. With the cessation of hostilities, the battalions at the disposal of the government in India were rapidly diminished. At the same time, the infrastructure of the Congress Party, whose entire leadership was imprisoned due to their opposition to the war, had been dismantled.The Partition of India was the process of dividing the subcontinent along sectarian lines, which took place in as India gained its independence from the British Raj.
The northern, predominantly Muslim sections of India became the nation of Pakistan, while the southern and majority Hindu section became the Republic of India. The Partition of India was the process of dividing the subcontinent along sectarian lines, which took place in as India gained its independence from the British Raj.
The northern, predominantly Muslim sections of India became the nation of Pakistan, while the southern and majority Hindu section became the Republic of India. Indian soldiers walk through the debris of a building in Amritsar during unrest after the partition of India and Pakistan in August (Agence France-Presse/Getty Images).
India was separated in August as it gained its independence, splitting into Pakistan and India. The decision to create two separate countries was sparked by the end of British rule in India.
The Partition of India has been one of the most defining events in the history of the subcontinent. It was the largest migration in human history happened in At partition museum visitors can see archival materials, survivors art, oral stories.
Mar 03, · Reasons for partition. India and Pakistan won independence in August , following a nationalist struggle lasting nearly three decades.