Partition of Pakistan
Imperial Entities of India
|Portuguese India 1510–1961|
|Casa da Índia||1434–1833|
|Portuguese East India Company||1628–1633|
|British India 1613–1947|
|East India Company||1612–1757|
|Company rule in India||1757–1857|
|British rule in Burma||1824–1942|
|Partition of India||1947|
The partition of India (Hindi-Urdu: हिन्दुस्तान का बटवारा (Devanagari) تقسیم ہند (Nastaleeq) )was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics. This led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan (that later split again into the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh) and theUnion of India (later Republic of India). The Indian Independence Act 1947 had decided 15 August 1947 as the appointed date for the partition. However, Pakistan came into existence a day earlier, on 14 August.
The partition of India was set forth in the Indian Independence Act 1947 and resulted in the dissolution of the British Indian Empire and the end of the British Raj. It resulted in a struggle between the newly constituted states of India and Pakistan and displaced up to 12.5 million people with estimates of loss of life varying from several hundred thousand to a million (most estimates of the numbers of people who crossed the boundaries between India and Pakistan in 1947 range between 10 and 12 million). The violent nature of the partition created an atmosphere of mutual hostility and suspicion between India and Pakistan that plagues their relationship to this day.
The partition included the geographical division of the Bengal province into East Bengal, which became part of the Dominion of Pakistan (from 1956, East Pakistan). West Bengal became part of India, and a similar partition of the Punjab province became West Punjab (later the Pakistani Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory) and East Punjab(later the Indian Punjab, as well as Haryana and Himachal Pradesh). The partition agreement also included the division of Indian government assets, including the Indian Civil Service, the Indian Army, the Royal Indian Navy, the Indian railways and the central treasury, and other administrative services.
The two self-governing countries of India and Pakistan legally came into existence at the stroke of midnight on 14–15 August 1947. The ceremonies for the transfer of power were held a day earlier in Karachi, at the time the capital of the new state of Pakistan, so that the last British Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten of Burma, could attend both the ceremony in Karachi and the ceremony in Delhi. This is why Pakistan’s Independence Day is celebrated on 14 August and India’s on 15 August.
Late nineteenth and early twentieth century
The All India Muslim League (AIML) had been formed in Dhaka in 1906 by Muslims who were suspicious of the Hindu-majority Indian National Congress. They complained that Muslim members did not have the same rights as Hindu members. A number of different scenarios were proposed at various times. Among the first to make the demand for a separate state was the writer and philosopher Allama Iqbal, who, in his presidential address to the 1930 convention of the Muslim League, proposed a separate nation for Muslims was essential in an otherwise Hindu-dominated Indian subcontinent. According to Iqbal, such a separation was imminent in a near future, according to his vision.
The Sindh Assembly passed a resolution making it a separate nation a demand in 1935. Iqbal, Jouhar and others worked hard to draft a resolution, working with Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who had until then worked for Hindu-Muslim unity and who now was to lead the movement for this new nation. By 1930, Jinnah had begun to despair at the fate of minority communities in a united India and had begun to argue that mainstream parties such as the Congress, of which he was once a member, were insensitive to Muslim interests.
The 1932 Communal Award which seemed to threaten the position of Muslims in Hindu-majority provinces catalysed the resurgence of the Muslim League, with Jinnah as its leader. However, the League did not do well in the 1937 provincial elections, demonstrating the hold of the conservative and local forces at the time.