Planning for the Partition of India 1947: A Scuttled Affair

An academic article. Abstract form author: The history of the struggle for independence and partition of India from British stronghold needs an authentic and objective analysis not only of the course that it followed or the humanistic perspective that it developed but the sheer manner in which it was planned by the departing authorities. It was not the act but the way it was performed that has brought a whole aura of negativism to be associated with such a historic episode leading many to state and believe that it was a mistake. Partition needs to be salvaged from such a myopic approach to be redefined as the most significant event in the evolution of South Asia as a socio-political unit. There is hardly any doubt that the Indian subcontinent was partitioned on the forceful demand of the Muslims represented by Jinnah and the Muslim League. It was neither the desire of the British nor the dream of the Hindu led Congress to see India divided and separate states emerging out of a single and untied entity. The fact that Pakistan was, nonetheless, created speaks volumes of a leader’s perseverance and a nation’s will to sacrifice for the cause of independence. The British could not reconcile to the ending of a Raj they had come to regard as their most prized possession and
the Hindus could hardly accept their motherland breaking up and the Muslims gaining a land of their own. The plan to bring about such a partition that did not enjoy the willing acceptance of two out of three major parties involved, therefore, offers an interesting study, for therein lie most of the troubles that a nascent state of Pakistan had to encounter soon after independence.

Rabia Umar Ali
Pakistan Journal of History and Culture/National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research- Pakistan