partitioning a subcontinent

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Partitioning A Subcontinent. Hindus, Muslims, and A British Empire. One of the main reasons why the British granted independence was, of course, the growing violence and nationalistic feeling in India - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Partitioning A SubcontinentHindus, Muslims, and A British Empire

One of the main reasons why the British granted independence was, of course, the growing violence and nationalistic feeling in IndiaIt was also quite apparent that Britain could no longer rule India without holding it by military force and producing a great deal of hard feeling internationally

Britain could ill afford this after a world war of survival, World War IIThe changing feeling at home was certainly a part of the decision to grant freedomThe most destructive of all wars had been fought to preserve the liberal and democratic world, and it seemed inconsistent for England to champion freedom in Europe and rule India by force of arms

Hope that Hindus and Muslims might find a way of living together was doomed as early as 1937 when local governments formed by the Congress Party shut out Muslims in some of the provincesAt this time Muhammad Ali Jinnah (Muslim League president after 1934) became committed to the concept of a Muslim nation of Pakistan

In March 1946, the government of Great Britain dispatched a three-man mission to bring about an immediate transfer of power in India, but the question of partition slowed down the process That year rioting took place, in which Bengal and Bihar provinces alone suffered nearly 10,000 fatalities in six monthsFinally the Congress Party agreed that no one group should be compelled to accept a constitution against its will and as expected, the Muslim majority voted for partition

On August 15, 1947, India was granted independence and divided into two separate nations

Pakistan consisted of two sections a thousand miles apart: West Pakistan (the Sind, the northwest frontier, Baluchistan, and the western part of the Punjab) and East Pakistan (the eastern part of Bengal plus the Sylhet district of Assam)

National assets were divided on a ration of 82.5 to 17.5 in favor of IndiaEverything (from railroad equipment and the national debt to criminals, lunatics, and office furniture) had to be divided, and Pakistan received its share only after Gandhi insisted

The transfer of people who were located in split areas caused the most troubleRioting and religious wars broke out in the Punjab, which had been divided right down the middle

Approximately 12 million people moved (often fled) from one country to another, and estimates place the number of deaths through violence at 200,000 and others due to dislocation at 300,000

Economic dislocation was another result of partitionEast Pakistan grew 70 percent of the worlds jute, but all the mills were in India

Pakistan received the better food- and cotton-growing areas and India the coal, metals, and industrial resources of the peninsula

India received 82 percent of the population but only 69 percent of the irrigated lands

The status of 562 princely states also caused problemsAll the princely states joined either India or Pakistan, but trouble arose in Jammu, Kashmir, Hyderabad, Junagadh, and Manavadar The small states of Junagadh and Manavadar were predominantly Hindu and surrounded by Indian territoryThey had, however, Muslim rulers, who joined Pakistan in 1947

The Indian government sent in forces and occupied the countries, granting a plebiscite that resulted in an overwhelming vote to join IndiaHyderabad, the largest state in the Deccan and completely surrounded by Indian territory, was also Hindu with a Muslim ruler, and the Nizam felt powerful enough to hold out for independenceArmed Muslim forces terrorized the population, and Communists took control of many of the villages

After first trying an economic blockade, the Indian army took over the state in 1948

Pakistan had an excellent precedent in Indian action in Junagadh, Manavadar, and Hyderabad for taking over control of this area, which was predominantly Muslim (three-quarters) with a Hindu maharajahIn 1947 Pakistan invaded the area, and the maharaja quickly joined India

Indian troops arrived by airlift barely in time to save Srinagar, the capitalNehru referred the case to the UN demanding a plebiscite and the condemnation of Pakistan as an aggressorThe two countries were at war for fourteen months until a cease-fire was arranged by the UN in January 1949

Kashmir is valuable, for it has rich agricultural land and a lucrative tourist trade; it controls the headwaters of important rivers; and it is situated in a position strategic to both Pakistan and India

Nothing was settled and war again broke out in 1965The UN again sponsored a cease-fire, and Chinas involvement so worried the USSR that the Russians attempted to mediate the dispute, but the problem was not resolved

Another result of the partition was the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, 1948

Fortunately for relations between India and Pakistan, he was killed not by a Muslim but by a fanatic Hindu who was confused and frustrated by Gandhis attempt to stop violence among Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs

In January 1948 Gandhi had begun a fast for the reunion of hearts

At independence, India became a constitutional federal stateThe sixteen states themselves were granted little power, for, unlike the United States, the residual powers were given specifically to the central government which has the power to seize and assume the functions of state governments in case of emergencyThis was done in 1959 in the Communist-controlled state of Kerala

The constitution established a bicameral government, with executive power resting in a prime minister who is leader of the majority party in the House of the PeopleAt independence the Congress Party was the only large and important political organizationThis party, which led India to independence and of which Jawaharlal Nehru became the head after Gandhis death, was socialist and secular, favoring government control of basic industry (but not secondary industry) and democracy in its political creed and organization


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