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Partition of India

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Partition of India

The year of 1947 caused two major events in the history of India. First, the independence of the country from 200 years of British rule and second the most tragic partition of Indian subcontinent into India and Pakistan (carved out from Punjab and Bengal). The partition of the country was made on the basis of religion with India as the secular state and Pakistan as Islamic one.

Partition of IndiaThe partition resulted into the unexpected transfer of millions of people and rendered ten million homeless. An estimated twenty million Hindus left West Punjab and East Bengal, and eighteen million Muslims went to Pakistan. As a part of this mass movement, over half a million people lost their lives; there were 22,000 reported cases of rape and kidnapping of women; 220,000 people were declared missing.

Mountbatten Plan


The basis for the Partition was laid on the Mountbatten Plan made on June 3, 1947. The border between the two countries formed as a result of partition was decided on the basis of Radcliffe Boundary Award.  Radcliffe Boundary Award was actually the report of British Government-commission named after the London lawyer, Sir Cyril Radcliffe who did the actual carving and the demarcation on the map.

Partition gave birth to two non-contiguous enclaves, East Pakistan (Present Bangladesh) and West Pakistan (Present Pakistan), which were separated geographically by India.

The Indian Independence Act was passed by the British Parliament on July 18, 1947, which finalized the partition arrangement. Legal frameworks of the two new born authorities were produced from the Government of India Act 1935.

Two self governing dominions legally came into existence as a result of partition. The dominion formed with the Islamic majority, Pakistan was added as a new member of the United Nations while the country formed with the integration of Hindu states, India was automatically granted the place of British India as a successor state.

 The newly formed Pakistan was separated by thousands of miles into two parts as East Pakistan and West Pakistan, this became the result for the further conflicts. As people residing in East Pakistan had more similarities with their neighbors residing in (Bengal) India as compared to Western part of the Pakistan.

The wrangling between the two parts of Pakistan caused political and refugee problems for India and in 1971, the then Prime Minister of the India, Indira Gandhi acted wisely and a new nation with the name Bangladesh was created.
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