The Partition of IndiaAugust 14, 1947Tarif Haque
What is the Partition of India?The partition of India is theseparation of India on Aug. 14,1947 and Aug. 15, 1947 into thestates of the Dominion of Pakistanand the Union of India, respectively.India was separated on the day ofgaining independence from British,due to tensions between the Hindusand the Muslims living in the country.India gained independence after 350years of British presence in thecountry. Above: A current day map of India
Basic Maps of the PartitionThese two maps show how India was divided after gaining independence from theBritish in 1947. The first shows India under British rule, before the partition. Thesecond shows how the region was divided after gaining independence and thebreakaway of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) from West Pakistan (Pakistan today)in 1971 through the Bangladesh Liberation War.
Timeline of Events 1600- British East India Company is established 1707- Mughal Empire collapsing; Indian states begin breaking away from Mughal control 1757- Robert Clive leads victory at Battle of Plassey; begins East India Company (British) leading power in India. 1800s- Many Indians begin thinking more modernly, changing traditional ideas. Some take ideas wanting to govern themselves. May 10, 1857- Indian Rebellion of 1857 (Sepoy Mutiny) starts. Challenges East India Company as fierce fighting breaks out. 1858- British government takes direct command of India, from East India Company. Late 1800s- Nationalism surfaces in India 1885- Indian National Congress is formed 1906- Muslim League forms 1930- First proposed idea of partition by philosopher Allama Iqbal Late 1930s- Muslims begin exiting Congress. 1943- Muslim League proposes “Divide and Quit” plan July 18, 1947- Mountbatten Partition Plan is finalized August 14-15, 1947- Independence is gained from Britain. Pakistan is formed immediate next day.
The British East India Company also known as The Honorable East India Company Britain becomes interested in India for economic reasons in the 1600s. The British East India company is formed after a charter is issued by Elizabeth I for favorable trading privileges between India and England. It began originally as a joint venture with the Dutch East India Company. Trading posts are set up in Bombay (1638), Madras (1639), and Calcutta (1690) by the company. Because India was ruled by the Original flag of East India Company Mughal empire, at first, European trading in the country was limited. The company eventually transformed itself from a commercial trade venture to a group that basically ruled India, as you will see in the next few slides.
This map shows European settlements in India from 1498 to 1739. As you can see, the British &Dutch (from joint East India Company) together have the most settlements in the region, whichsets the stage for the British to begin ruling the area through the East India Company.
East India Company Gains Powerbeginning over 100 years of British rule of India In 1617, The company is given trade rights in India by Mughal emperor Jahangir. By 1707, Dozens of small Indian states begin breaking away from Mughal rule. This sets the perfect time for the British to take over. In 1717, the British are given clear trading advantage when Mughal emperor Farrukhsiyar gives tax and duty free trading to the company in Bengal. Finally in 1757, the East India Company makes there move. Led by Robert Clive, East India company troops win a authoritative victory at the Battle of Plassey, defeating Indian troops allied with the French. From 1757 to 1858, the East India Company is the leading power in India.
Impact of British Rule in IndiaPolicies and RegulationAt first the East India Company ruled with little interference from the Britishgovernment until the 19th century. The company employed its own army and even hadan internal government structure. The British used India for the gain of Britain’sEconomy, and set up restrictions that didn’t allow India to operate on its own.Positive EffectsA huge railroad system was placed in India by the British, making trade much moreefficient and brought together regions. The British modernized India by creatingtelegraph, telephone, bridges, modern roads, canals and improving public health.Schools and colleges are founded. They also helped put an end to local warfare.Negative EffectsThe British held almost all political and economic power and set restrictions on Indianowned industries. Many villagers lost self-suffiency due to the British enforcing cashcrops. Most British carried racist attitudes towards the Indians in the country, andadopted policies which did not abide by many religious practices in India. TraditionalIndian life was threatened due to British superiority.
The Indian Rebellion of 1857also The Sepoy Mutiny In the 1800s, some Indians begin The next day on May 10, 1857, the thinking more modern and want a sepoys rebelled. Fighting took place greater role in governing across the country both sides trying to themselves. slaughter each other’s armies. Economic problems began arising The British government sent troops to for the Indians due to British aid the East India Company. It took restrictions. over a year for them to regain power In 1857, news spread to the sepoys and control. (Indian soldiers employed by British) that there rifle cartridges were greased with beef and pork. Hindus and Muslims both resented having to bite off the cartridge ends to use the rifle because religious rules stated that Hindus considered the cow sacred, and Muslims didn’t eat pork. Almost 90 sepoys refused to accept the cartridges. The sepoys were jailed. Above: A painting of a battle during the Rebellion
British Government Takes DirectControl of India in 1858 After the Sepoy Mutiny, in 1858 the British government took direct command of India, from the East India Company. Raj was the term used to describe any part of India under British rule, from 1757 to 1947. Britain promised to respect treaties made to citizens by the East India Company, and promised all Indian states would remain free and independent. However, Britain gained more and more control.
Nationalism Surfaces in India: the Indian National Congress and Muslim League formNationalist feelings began arising in the country due to modernization and thetaking up of western ideas. It wasn’t long before the groups wanting to selfgovern themselves. Two Major Nationalist Groups formed:The Indian National Congress The Muslim LeagueIn 1885, the Indian National In 1906, the Muslim League formed- anotherGovernment formed- comprised mainly nationalist group which focused on specificof Hindus wanting to break free from concerns for the Muslim minority living inBritish rule. India. Above: Current flag of Indian National Congress
Ram Mohan RoyPowerful Social Reformer of India Ram Mohan Roy (1775-1883) is the founder of one of the first social reform movements in India. He helped move many people away from traditional practices such as caste separation and arranged child marriages. He disliked the way Indians socially classed people according to their caste. His ideas promoted adoption of many Western ways, but still allowing Indians to keep to their roots. Many reformers took his ideas and was the beginning of Above: Painting of Ram Mohan Roy Nationalistic movements in India and self leadership.
Leading up to Partition: 1920-1932•Not only were Indians struggling to Allama Iqbal’s 1930 Address tobreak away from British rule, but they Mulsim Leage:were also struggling internally due totensions between Hindus and Muslims. “The Hindus and the Muslims•The formation of the Indian National belong to two different religions,Congress and the Muslim League philosophies, social customsdefined a fine line between the twomajor religions and their views. and literature… To yoke together two such nations under•The first to propose separate stateswas writer & philosopher Allama Iqbal in a single state, one as a1930. An excerpt from his conversation numerical minority and the otherwith the Muslim League in 1930 as a majority, must lead toappears on the right. growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that Left: Allama Iqbal may be so built up for the was a key figure in proposing the government of such a state.” seperation of India into two states.
Leading up to Partition: 1932-1937•Not only were the Muslims pushing for separation, but so were the Hindus.•Many Hindus despised the Muslims due to the Muslims formerly ruling India for 300years under the Mogul Empire.•Hindu organizations such as the Hindu Mahasabha pushed for the division of thecountry and insisted the chasm between Muslims and Hindus was too great and was inneed of separate states.In 1937, Veer Savarkar in his PresidentialAddress to the Hindu Mahasabha:“India cannot be assumed today to be Unitarianand homogeneous nation, but on the contrarythere are two nations in the main — the Hindusand the Muslims.”
Leading up to Partition: 1937-1946•Although many groups called for the separation of India based on religion,the majority of Congress members were secular and opposed to dividing thecountry solely based on religion.•By the late 1930s, Muslims begin exiting congress and forming separategroups that were pushing the formation of a new Muslim state: Pakistan.•At this time Britain did not directly rule India, but just oversaw the wholecountry. Local and Regional governments comprised of full Indian rule.•In 1943, The Muslim League proposes a quick plan to divide and gainindependence; also known as “Divide and Quit.”•Soon India was ready to be partitioned. Muslims and Hindus were constantlyin quarrels, and a plan was proposed to the British.
Mohandas Gandhi Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948) was one of the major spiritual and political figures in the move for Indian independence For years, Gandhi struggled to keep the Muslims active in Congress so India would not have to suffer the consequence of separation and losing unity. Not only did Gandhi use non-violent and non-cooperative methods, but he also ceased much of the radical hate ideas on both the sides of Hindus and Muslims. Above: Mohandas Gandhi"Leave India to God. If that is too much, pictured in 1930 then leave her to anarchy." --Gandhi, May 1942
The Partition After Britain handed over self governance to India on August 14, 1947, the plan for the partition was put into action. The Mountbatten Plan is what India was divided according to. The plan was written by Cyril Radcliffe, who wrote it based on a British commissioned report on India. The plan was finalized on July 18, 1947 and was put into action a month later. India was formed out of the mostly Hindu regions and Pakistan was formed out of Above: British officials the mainly Muslim regions. Pakistan was discussing the Mountbatten formed in two dominions- East Pakistan Plan, with a countdown to handover of power in the and West Pakistan, which were separated back. geographically by India.
Impact and Aftermath of PartitionThe partition of India left both India and Pakistan devastated. Riots erupted, and looting brokeout widespread. Women were raped and battered by both the Hindus and Muslims, and trainsfull of battered women and children would arrive between the borders of India and Pakistandaily.Over 15 million refugees were forced into regions completely new to them. Even though theyshared the same religion of thier new home, they still had not lost the bond to the region theirfamily and ancestors grew up in. The provinces of Bengal and Punjab were divided causingoutrage in many Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs alike.Even after almost six decades after the partition, India and Pakistan have still not healed fromthe wounds left by the partition. India and Pakistan have been to war twice since the partition,and Pakistan suffered the bloody war of the breaking away of East Pakistan into Bangladesh.The two countries are still arguing over the landlocked region of Kashmir. Many believe thepartition not only broke the unity of India, but also took away the sense of belonging to manypeople who were tore apart from their native regions. Left: Refugee train of Sikhs heading to India Right: Man carrying wife and family across the border.
“A moment comes, whichcomes but rarely in history,when we step out from theold to the new, when an ageends, and when the soul of anation, long suppressed, findsutterance.” -Jawaharlal Nehru, 1st Prime Minister of India
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