Partition of Bharat (India)
Mahatma Gandhi, father of our nation has opposed the partition of Bharat (INDIA) and saw it as against his vision of unity among all religious people. He was also adamant that if the nation should be torn apart, then it would be only on his corpse. However, by Jinnah’s separate country slogan, there arose a separate country called Pakistan.
Initially, It was very difficult for India to get freedom from the British. But, Like Gandhi’s Ahimsa protest, rise of protest against British by Indian people and leaders across the country, casualties of people during the protest etc were the reasons for which made British to decide about giving independence to India. In response to this, on 18th Feb 1947, the then prime minister Clement Attlee addressed in the British assembly about the decision made by the British government to transfer the power to India before June 1948. After his speech in the British assembly, there was a severe opposition raised by Winston Churchill.
Why India need independence? Do Indians know the importance of independence? Were the questions raised by Winston Churchill in the British assembly. He also added that it is very shameful moment for the British government to take such decision of giving independence to India. But the British government headed by Clement Attlee stood very strongly in the decision of giving independence to India and started the procedures for giving independence promptly. Louis Mountbatten was called and made Viceroy of India by Clement Attlee. Attlee ordered Mountbatten to move the British troops to Britain from India, but Mountbatten accepted his orders with some conditions. Attlee also accepted his conditions without a further choice.
On March 1947, Mountbatten came to New Delhi. The then governor Archibald Wavell handed over the documents and files to Mountbatten and explained the current situation about India to him. After that he came to know about the Hindu-Muslim riots at that time. He called the policeman to stop the riots, but policemen were reduced in numbers and strength to stop the riots. So they couldn’t control the riots. Similar statements came from military generals as well. So British made some Indians as representatives through a movement to give solution to problems prevailing in India.
This idea gave rise to a movement called Indian national congress (INC) by Allan Octavian Hume and Dadabhai Naoroji in 1885. The First conference of this movement was held in Mumbai in the same year. Following this, several conferences were held in places such as Chennai, Calcutta etc. Meanwhile congress involved in politics also. In 1900 congress evolved as an all India movement. Initially INC was seen as a Hindu movement because of the majority of Hindu leaders/people in it which made Muslim people mistrust INC. This made Muslim people seek for a separate country. Aligarh movement made a huge impact among the Muslim people which was founded by Syed Ahamed Khan. He ordered Muslim people not to join congress and seeded that there is no relation between congress and us.
After 1911, there were deviations/changes in the approach by congress. Now they sought minimum administrative rights from the British and accomplished that. Dadabhai Naoroji became the Member of Parliament and revealed the problems faced by the Indians in the parliament during 1892 to 1895. Many congress leaders also broke up with congress due to some strategies of INC at that time. Due to that, congress split into two in 1907.
In 1900 Hindi was declared the official language at that time. Muslim people claimed Urdu to be given the official status, but it was denied. On December 30, 1906, a Muslim conference was held in Shahabad, West Bengal. The Indian Muslim league party was developed at this conference. Mohammed Ali Jinnah was in INC even after returning from London in1896.
Jinnah was not satisfied with the strategies and decisions taken by Gandhi, so he criticized and broke up with INC in 1920. On march 28, 1929, Jinnah submitted 14 points like giving importance to minority people, equal rights to worship their own religion etc. Before congress and Indian Muslim League. But it was denied by other parties, including congress. Because of that, Muslim league realized the necessity for a separate country. Initially, the separate country request was raised by Mohammed Iqbal in Lahore session, 1930. But the name Pakistan was given by Choudhry Rahmat Ali in 1933. The word Pakistan was derived from the starting letter of Punjab, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Sindu and ending word of Balochistan.
In 1905, Bengal was partitioned by the British government due to administrative policies, but later it was unified in 1911. Gandhi was not at all interested in partitioning India whereas he vouched for a smooth relationship between Hindu and Muslim people. Jinnah was so adamant in partitioning India and create Pakistan, though Mountbatten called both Gandhi and Jinnah for compromise. There was no improvement in preventing the partition of India.
On June 03, 1947, there was an addressing about independence on the radio. Following Mountbatten, Nehru addressed to the people about the independence with partition. So the partition works started. This work was given to Choudhry Rahmat Ali and HM Patel. Gold ornaments, tables, chairs were divided equally. Many people started to relocate. Few people did not relocate because of their respective birthplace.
The Nehru asked Mountbatten to be the first Governor General of Independent India. India and Pakistan borders were drawn by Sir Cyril Radcliffe. First Punjab was divided, west part was given to Pakistan and east part was given to India. Next west Bengal was divided, west part given to India and east part given to Pakistan. Jammu and Kashmir was given to India. Border lines were drawn and countries were partitioned. After partitioning 1.5 million people were relocated. Indian government started to unify several empires, but kings of certain empires were reluctant to join. But by the work of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, all the empires were unified. In august 15, 1945, Japan surrendered to Britain during the World War II. So Mountbatten was curious to give independence to India on August 15, 1947. Gandhi did not participate in Independence Day as he was fasting against religious riots in Calcutta. So independence was given before sunrise as suggested by the astrologers in the midnight.
Jawaharlal Nehru became the first prime minister of Independent India. Pakistan was given Independence on August 14 itself. Jinnah was the first governor general of Pakistan. Independence was celebrated near India gate, Delhi. Meanwhile RSS protested against the partition of India. It is said that 55 Crore Indian Rupees were given to Pakistan from Indian government for settlement. In 1948, Gandhi was assassinated in Delhi Birla Mahal while leaving for prayer. In the September of the same year Jinnah also passed away naturally. Even after independence, the status of Jammu and Kashmir was still not determined. Several wars had been taken place for Jammu and Kashmir.
Border issues, military conflicts between two countries still remain unanswerable!!!
- par: http://dailysikhupdates.com/20-newspaper-headlines-from-1947-indian-independence-day/
- par1: https://www.obv.org.uk/news-blogs/70th-anniversary-partition-india
- muhammad-ali-jinnah-with-mahatma-gandhi_a2f54618-48ed-11ea-a2c3-ce206a175aca: https://www.sundayguardianlive.com/news/book-exclusive-partition-details-challenges-conventional-narratives
- Special train: https://www.history.org.uk/ha-news/news/3252/the-partition-history-project
- cyril: https://learn.culturalindia.net/partition-of-india.html