The Partition of India

August 14, 1947
Tarif Haque

What is the Partition of India?
The partition of India is the separation of India on Aug. 14, 1947 and Aug. 15, 1947 into the states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India, respectively. India was separated on the day of gaining independence from British, due to tensions between the Hindus and the Muslims living in the country. India gained independence after 350 years of British presence in the country.

Above: A current day map of India

before the partition.Basic Maps of the Partition These two maps show how India was divided after gaining independence from the British in 1947. . The first shows India under British rule. The second shows how the region was divided after gaining independence and the breakaway of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) from West Pakistan (Pakistan today) in 1971 through the Bangladesh Liberation War.

begins East India Company (British) leading power in India. May 10.Muslim League forms 1930.British government takes direct command of India. 1947. . Challenges East India Company as fierce fighting breaks out. 1857. 1800s. 1947. changing traditional ideas. Late 1800s. Some take ideas wanting to govern themselves. from East India Company. 1943.British East India Company is established 1707.Mountbatten Partition Plan is finalized August 14-15.Mughal Empire collapsing.Indian National Congress is formed 1906.Independence is gained from Britain. Pakistan is formed immediate next day.First proposed idea of partition by philosopher Allama Iqbal Late 1930s.Timeline of Events               1600.Nationalism surfaces in India 1885.Many Indians begin thinking more modernly. Indian states begin breaking away from Mughal control 1757.Muslim League proposes “Divide and Quit” plan July 18.Muslims begin exiting Congress.Robert Clive leads victory at Battle of Plassey.Indian Rebellion of 1857 (Sepoy Mutiny) starts. 1858.

The British East India company is formed after a charter is issued by Elizabeth I for favorable trading privileges between India and England. Original flag of East India Company . as you will see in the next few slides.The British East India Company also known as The Honorable East India Company       Britain becomes interested in India for economic reasons in the 1600s. at first. Because India was ruled by the Mughal empire. Trading posts are set up in Bombay (1638). European trading in the country was limited. The company eventually transformed itself from a commercial trade venture to a group that basically ruled India. It began originally as a joint venture with the Dutch East India Company. and Calcutta (1690) by the company. Madras (1639).

which sets the stage for the British to begin ruling the area through the East India Company. . As you can see. the British & Dutch (from joint East India Company) together have the most settlements in the region.This map shows European settlements in India from 1498 to 1739.

By 1707. . Dozens of small Indian states begin breaking away from Mughal rule.East India Company Gains Power beginning over 100 years of British rule of India  In 1617. Led by Robert Clive. Finally in 1757. East India company troops win a authoritative victory at the Battle of Plassey. the East India Company is the leading power in India. defeating Indian troops allied with the French. the East India Company makes there move. This sets the perfect time for the British to take over. From 1757 to 1858. The company is given trade rights in India by     Mughal emperor Jahangir. the British are given clear trading advantage when Mughal emperor Farrukhsiyar gives tax and duty free trading to the company in Bengal. In 1717.

The British used India for the gain of Britain’s Economy. Most British carried racist attitudes towards the Indians in the country. and adopted policies which did not abide by many religious practices in India. making trade much more efficient and brought together regions. telephone. Negative Effects The British held almost all political and economic power and set restrictions on Indian owned industries. . Many villagers lost self-suffiency due to the British enforcing cash crops. The British modernized India by creating telegraph. Positive Effects A huge railroad system was placed in India by the British. The company employed its own army and even had an internal government structure. modern roads. and set up restrictions that didn’t allow India to operate on its own.Impact of British Rule in India Policies and Regulation At first the East India Company ruled with little interference from the British government until the 19th century. bridges. canals and improving public health. Traditional Indian life was threatened due to British superiority. They also helped put an end to local warfare. Schools and colleges are founded.

1857.   The next day on May 10. It took over a year for them to regain power and control. Fighting took place across the country both sides trying to slaughter each other’s armies. and Muslims didn’t eat pork. some Indians begin thinking more modern and want a greater role in governing themselves. the sepoys rebelled. Economic problems began arising for the Indians due to British restrictions. Above: A painting of a battle during the Rebellion . The sepoys were jailed. The British government sent troops to aid the East India Company. 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. news spread to the sepoys (Indian soldiers employed by British) that there rifle cartridges were greased with beef and pork. In 1857.The Indian Rebellion of 1857 also The Sepoy Mutiny     In the 1800s. Almost 90 sepoys refused to accept the cartridges.

from 1757 to 1947. in 1858 the British government took direct command of India.British Government Takes Direct Control of India in 1858  After the Sepoy Mutiny. However.  Raj was the term used to describe any part of India under British rule. Britain gained more and more control.  Britain promised to respect treaties made to citizens by the East India Company. and promised all Indian states would remain free and independent. . from the East India Company.

the Indian National Government formed.Nationalism Surfaces in India: the Indian National Congress and Muslim League form Nationalist feelings began arising in the country due to modernization and the taking up of western ideas.another nationalist group which focused on specific concerns for the Muslim minority living in India.comprised mainly of Hindus wanting to break free from British rule. Two Major Nationalist Groups formed: The Indian National Congress In 1885. Above: Current flag of Indian National Congress . It wasn’t long before the groups wanting to self govern themselves. The Muslim League In 1906. the Muslim League formed.

 He disliked the way Indians socially classed people according to their caste. Many reformers took his ideas and was the beginning of Nationalistic movements in India and self leadership.Ram Mohan Roy Powerful 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. but still allowing Indians to keep to their roots. Above: Painting of Ram Mohan Roy .  His ideas promoted adoption of many Western ways.

social customs and literature… To yoke together two such nations under a single state. •The formation of the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League defined a fine line between the two major religions and their views. one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority. must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a state. Allama Iqbal’s 1930 Address to Mulsim Leage: “The Hindus and the Muslims belong to two different religions. An excerpt from his conversation with the Muslim League in 1930 appears on the right. •The first to propose separate states was writer & philosopher Allama Iqbal in 1930. . philosophies.” Left: Allama Iqbal was a key figure in proposing the seperation of India into two states.Leading up to Partition: 1920-1932 •Not only were Indians struggling to break away from British rule. but they were also struggling internally due to tensions between Hindus and Muslims.

but on the contrary there are two nations in the main — the Hindus and the Muslims. In 1937. •Hindu organizations such as the Hindu Mahasabha pushed for the division of the country and insisted the chasm between Muslims and Hindus was too great and was in need of separate states. but so were the Hindus.” . •Many Hindus despised the Muslims due to the Muslims formerly ruling India for 300 years under the Mogul Empire. Veer Savarkar in his Presidential Address to the Hindu Mahasabha: “India cannot be assumed today to be Unitarian and homogeneous nation.Leading up to Partition: 1932-1937 •Not only were the Muslims pushing for separation.

. Muslims and Hindus were constantly in quarrels.Leading up to Partition: 1937-1946 •Although many groups called for the separation of India based on religion. Muslims begin exiting congress and forming separate groups that were pushing the formation of a new Muslim state: Pakistan. •In 1943. and a plan was proposed to the British. the majority of Congress members were secular and opposed to dividing the country solely based on religion. but just oversaw the whole country. The Muslim League proposes a quick plan to divide and gain independence. •At this time Britain did not directly rule India.” •Soon India was ready to be partitioned. •By the late 1930s. Local and Regional governments comprised of full Indian rule. also known as “Divide and Quit.

" --Gandhi. May 1942 .Mohandas Gandhi    Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948) was one of the major spiritual and political figures in the move for Indian independence For years. If that is too much. but he also ceased much of the radical hate ideas on both the sides of Hindus and Muslims. Not only did Gandhi use non-violent and non-cooperative methods. Gandhi struggled to keep the Muslims active in Congress so India would not have to suffer the consequence of separation and losing unity. Above: Mohandas Gandhi pictured in 1930 "Leave India to God. then leave her to anarchy.

the plan for the partition was put into action. . which were separated geographically by India.  The Mountbatten Plan is what India was divided according to. The plan was written by Cyril Radcliffe. 1947. who wrote it based on a British commissioned report on India. with a countdown to handover of power in the back. Above: British officials discussing the Mountbatten Plan.The Partition  After Britain handed over self governance to India on August 14.  India was formed out of the mostly Hindu regions and Pakistan was formed out of the mainly Muslim regions. Pakistan was formed in two dominions. 1947 and was put into action a month later.East Pakistan and West Pakistan. The plan was finalized on July 18.

Even after almost six decades after the partition. and Pakistan suffered the bloody war of the breaking away of East Pakistan into Bangladesh. Many believe the partition not only broke the unity of India. The two countries are still arguing over the landlocked region of Kashmir. and Sikhs alike. Women were raped and battered by both the Hindus and Muslims. The provinces of Bengal and Punjab were divided causing outrage in many Muslims. Even though they shared the same religion of thier new home. India and Pakistan have been to war twice since the partition. Hindus. Riots erupted.Impact and Aftermath of Partition The partition of India left both India and Pakistan devastated. and trains full of battered women and children would arrive between the borders of India and Pakistan daily. but also took away the sense of belonging to many people who were tore apart from their native regions. they still had not lost the bond to the region their family and ancestors grew up in. Left: Refugee train of Sikhs heading to India Right: Man carrying wife and family across the border. Over 15 million refugees were forced into regions completely new to them. . and looting broke out widespread. India and Pakistan have still not healed from the wounds left by the partition.

finds utterance. long suppressed. which comes but rarely in history. 1st Prime Minister of India . when we step out from the old to the new.” -Jawaharlal Nehru. when an age ends. and when the soul of a nation.“A moment comes.

India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy." Frontline Magazine. <http://english. G. USA: HarperCollins.Works Cited      Keen. 1997.” <http://www. French. 2002. 4. “The Partition of India: Impact and Aftermath.html> Guha. "The Partition of India. Great Britain: HarperCollins. Shirin. Noorani. Patrick.-Jan.18-Issue 26. 2007. “The Partition of India. A. Vol. Ramachandra. Liberty or Death: India’s Journey to Independence and Division.” Spring> .thepicky. 22 Dec.

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