Toggle display of website navigation Argument: August 14,3:
It marked the birth of Pakistan, an independent India and the beginning of the end of an era of colonialism. It was hardly a joyous moment: A botched process of partition saw the slaughter of more than a million people; some 15 million were displaced.
Untold numbers were maimed, mutilated, dismembered and disfigured. Countless lives were scarred. The bloodbath of partition also left the two nations that were borne out of it — India and Pakistan — deeply scarred by anguish, angst, alienation and animus.
Bythe political, social, societal and religious complexities of the Indian subcontinent may have made partition inevitablebut the murderous mayhem that ensued was not. As a South Asian whose life was affected directly by partition, and as a scholarit is evident to me that the one man whose job it was, above all else, to avoid the mayhem, ended up inflaming the conditions that made partition the horror it became.
How did Mountbatten contribute to the legacy of hatred that, 71 years laterstill informs the bitter relationship between India and Pakistan? A murderous orgy People crowd onto a train as mass displacement happens during partition.
AP Photo Let us begin by recognizing the scale of barbarity that was unleashed by the mishandling of partition. None was observed in the murderous orgy that shook India to the core at the dawn of independence.
What is important to understand is that partition is to the psyche of Indians and Pakistanis what the Holocaust is to Jews. The violence was not, in fact, entirely unexpected.
On August 16,literally a year before actual partition, a glimpse of what was to come was on display: The hellish proportion of the slaughter that was to come was, however, unnecessary. Well before the August ofthose following the tumultuous political boil in India — including U.
Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman — fully understood that it was time for Britain — now a flailing power made bankrupt by World War II — to leave India. As dawned, the task before the British was to find the least worst way to retreat from India: This great-grandson of Queen Victoria — the first British monarch to be crowned Empress of India — was, ironically, given the task of closing the imperial shop, not just in India but around the world.
In India, he proved to be monumentally unequal to the assignment. Mountbatten arrived in India in February and was given until June — not — to complete his mission.
Impatient to get back to Britain and advance his own naval careerhe decided to bring forward the date by 10 months, to August he eventually did become first sea lord, a position he coveted because it had been denied to his father.
Lord Mountbatten being received on his arrival to India. In this picture he is shaking hands with Liaquat Ali Khan, who became the first prime minister of Pakistan. Next to him is Jawaharlal Nehru, who became the first prime minister of India.
I would argue, they could have meant the difference between a simply violent partition and a horrifically genocidal partition. To decide the fate of million Indians and draw lines of division on poorly made maps, Mountbatten brought in Cyril Radcliffe, a barrister who had never set foot in India before then, and would never return afterwards.
Despite his protestations, Mountbatten gave him just five weeks to complete the job. All of India, and particularly those in Bengal and Punjab, waited with bated breath to find out how they would be divided.
Which village would go where? Which family would be left on which side of the new borders? Working feverishly, Radcliffe completed the partition maps days before the actual partition.No one disagrees that every act of violence against women is a matter of great shame for all billion Indians.
But to be labelled the world's most dangerous country for women ahead of Pakistan, Somalia, Afghanistan and Syria — according to a study by the Thomson Reuters Foundation — and all the other countries in the United Nations is a load of crock. PAKISTAN OR THE PARTITION OF INDIA. BY Dr. B.
R. Ambedkar "More brain, O Lord, more brain!
or we shall mar, Utterly this fair garden we might win." (Quotation from the title page of Thoughts on Pakistan, 1st ed.). INSCRIBED TO THE MEMORY. The ink was hardly dry on the documents following the partition of British India in before war broke out between India and Pakistan.
Since the partition, four major wars and numerous smaller conflicts have been waged over much of the same ground. Today, both India and Pakistan remain crippled by the narratives built around memories of the crimes of Partition, as politicians (particularly in India) and .
Portuguese Chittagong; Dutch Bengal; French Bengal; Danish Bengal; Austrian Bengal; Battle of Plassey; British India. Company rule; Bengal Presidency; Bengal famine of The Partition of India in promised its people both political and religious freedom―through the liberation of India from British rule, and the creation of the Muslim state of Pakistan.