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ROLL NO. : 1508


SESSION : 2016 - 2021


I hereby declare that the work reported in the B.A. LL.B (Hons.) Project Report entitle
“FREEDOM AND PARTITION OF INDIA” submitted at Chanakya National Law
University, Patna is an authentic record of my work carried out under the supervision of
DR. PRIYADARSHINI.I have not submitted this work elsewhere for any other degree or
diploma. I am fully responsible for the contents of my Project Report.

(Signature of the Candidate)

Akanksha Ranjan
Chanakya National Law University, Patna




A project is a joint endeavor which is to be accomplished with utmost compassion, diligence and
with support of all. Gratitude is a noble response of one’s soul to kindness or help generously
rendered by another and its acknowledgement is the duty and joyance. I am overwhelmed in all
humbleness and gratefulness to acknowledge from the bottom of my heart to all those who have
helped me to put these ideas, well above the level of simplicity and into something concrete
effectively and moreover on time.

This project would not have been completed without combined effort of my revered teacher DR.
PRIYADARSHINI whose support and guidance was the driving force to successfully complete this project.
I express my heartfelt gratitude to him .Thanks are also due to my parents, family , siblings , my dear
friends and all those who helped me in this project in any way . Last but not the least, I would like to
express my sincere gratitude to our History teacher for providing us with such a golden opportunity to
showcase our talents
Moreover, thanks to all those who helped me in any way be it words, presence
encouragement or blessings...

- Akanksha
- 2nd semester








The researcher intends to find out:
i) To find out the reason behind the freedom of India from britishers.

ii) The researcher aim to find out that what are the impact of different struggle
movements .
iii) The researcher intends to find out the condition aftermath over partition.
iv) The researcher intends to impact of partition on India.

India attained Independence on August 15th 1947, after a great political and social struggle. The
British had ruled over India for a considerable period of time. Their initial intentions were to
carry out trade in India, but in due course of time they developed political and administrative

The period following India's First War of Independence was an important period in the Indian
independence movement. Many leaders emerged at the national and provincial levels, and the
Indians became more aware of their rights. Social movements also helped in shaping people's
outlook, tried for social changes, and tried to remove bad social practices and evils like illiteracy
and caste system. During this period, many social and religious leaders worked to inspire the
Indian society. They included men like Swami Vivekananda, Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Sri
Aurobindo, Subramanya Bharathy, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan,
Rabindranath Tagore and Dadabhai Naoroji.

They spread the message of self-confidence, removing of social evils, and making India free
from domination of foreign power. Lokmanya Tilak was one such leader who was not very
modest in his views. The British arrested him. In the court he declared: "Swaraj (independence)
is my birthright". This concept of Swaraj later became a main policy and philosophy of India's
independence movement in the following decades until India became independent.

In 1885, at the suggestion of Allan Octavian Hume, a retired British civil servant, seventy-three
Indian delegates met in Bombay. They founded the Indian National Congress. The delegates
represented educated Indians in professions such as law, teaching, and journalism. A few years
before, Dadabhai Naoroji had already formed the Indian National Association. It merged with
the Indian National Congress to make form a bigger party.

To begin with, the Indian National Congress was not a very active political party. It met annually
and gave some suggestions to the rulers of the British Raj. The suggestions generally related to

civil rights and opportunities for Indians in the government jobs. Despite its claim to represent all
Indians, it represented only the educated and higher class of the society. But, it failed to attract
all Muslims. Many Muslims had become distrustful of Hindu reformers who raised their voice
against matters like religious conversion and killing of cows for their meat. For Hindus, the cow
is a sacred animal not to be killed. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan launched a separate movement for
Muslims, and founded in 1875 a college in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh state, India. Later, this college
became Aligarh University in 1921. The objective of the college was to give modern education
to India's Muslims. By 1900, the Indian National Congress had become a national party, but did
not represent all groups of Indian society, particularly the Muslims.

The Evolution of the Indian Independence Movement

The British East India Company had gained much control over the internal affairs of India. The
spirit of nationalism in India gained ground in the middle of the 19th century. It was
strengthened by the formation of the Indian National Congress in 1885. The authoritative and
indifferent attitude of the British towards the Indian sentiments led to the national movement
gaining momentum. National leaders, like Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhai
Patel and many others fought for political and administrative rights of the people. The British
were ruthless in their dealings with those who fought for the rights of the Indians. The divide and
rule policy of the British led to the division between the Hindus and the Muslims and the
formation of the Muslim League.
Extremists views among the Indian National Congress Members
During the early 20th century, the spirit of nationalism received an impetus by growing extreme
views among some of the Indian National Congress members. They did not favor the moderate
stance taken by some of national leaders, and criticized the British for their overbearing and
autocratic attitude towards the Indians.
The Role of Mahatma Gandhi
By 1920s the national movement had become very aggressive. Mahatma Gandhi began several
movements against the British. The Non-cooperation Movement (1920-1922 A.D.). This was
followed by the Civil Disobedience Movement. The movement for independence continued
through the 1930s, but it gained much ground during the Second World War. The Indian
National Congress cooperated with the British in war efforts. It was hoped that the British would

leave India after the Second World War. But the British did not relent. Then Mahatma Gandhi
began the “Quit India Movement” in 1942. The British eventually realized that they had to leave
India for good.
The Muslim League sought a separate nation for them, Pakistan. The League was concerned that
independent India would have Hindus at the helm of affairs. Although, it was planned that power
would be divided between the Hindus and Muslims as proposed by the Cabinet Mission
proposal. Yet, senior leader of the Muslim League Mohammad Ali Jinnah did not agree to it. The
League favored direct action, which led to Hindu-Muslim riots. In March 1947, Lord
Mountbatten had come to India and favored partition of Punjab and Bengal despite the civil war.
Gandhi did not favor partition and suggested that Jinnah should become the leader of the united
India. But many nationalist leaders did not favor this. Eventually, the British Parliament passed
the Indian Independence Act, which led to the formation of India and Pakistan.
India is a now a sovereign republic and is a force to reckon with in world politics. It is the largest
democracy in the world. It has retained its secular identity despite communal flare-ups.


The very first organised militant movements were in Bengal, but they later took movement in the
then newly formed Indian National Congress with prominent moderate leaders seeking only their
basic right to appear for Indian Civil Service examinations, as well as more rights, economic in
nature, for the people of the soil. The early part of the 20th century saw a more radical approach
towards political self-rule proposed by leaders such as the Lal, Bal, Pal and Aurobindo Ghosh,
V. O. Chidambaram Pillai. The last stages of the self-rule struggle from the 1920s onwards saw
Congress adopt Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's policy of nonviolence and civil resistance, and
several other campaigns. Nationalist like Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh and
Vinayak Damodar Sawarkar preached armed revolution to achieve self-rule. Poets and writers
such as Subramaniya Bharathi, Allama Iqbal, Josh Malihabadi, Mohammad Ali Jouhar, Bankim
Chandra Chattopadhyay and Kazi Nazrul Islam used literature, poetry and speech as a tool for
political awareness. Feminists such as Sarojini Naidu and Begum Rokeya promoted the
emancipation of Indian women and their participation in national politics. Babasaheb Ambedkar
championed the cause of the disadvantaged sections of Indian society within the larger self-rule
movement. The period of the Second World War saw the peak of the campaigns by the Quit
India Movement led by Congress and the Indian National Army movement led by Netaji Subhas
Chandra Bose.

The Indian self-rule movement was a mass-based movement that encompassed various sections
of society. It also underwent a process of constant ideological evolution. Although the basic
ideology of the movement was anti-colonial, it was supported by a vision of independent
capitalist economic development coupled with a secular, democratic, republican, and civil-
libertarian political structure.After the 1930s, the movement took on a strong socialist
orientation, due to the influence of Bhagat Singh's demand of Purn Swaraj (Complete Self-Rule)
The work of these various movements led ultimately to the Indian Independence Act 1947,
which ended the suzerainty in India and the creation of Pakistan. India remained a Dominion of
the Crown until 26 January 1950, when the Constitution of India came into force, establishing
the Republic of India; Pakistan was a dominion until 1956, when it adopted its first republican

constitution. In 1971, East Pakistan declared independence as the People's Republic of



The government announced the idea for partition in January 1904. The idea was opposed by
Henry John Stedman Cotton, Chief Commissioner of Assam 1896–1902.

The partition was made on 16 October, by Viceroy Curzon. The former province of Bengal was
divided into two new provinces "Bengal" (comprising western Bengal as well as the province of
Bihar and Orissa) and Eastern Bengal and Assam with Dacca as the capital of the latter.[3]
Partition was promoted for administrative reasons since Bengal was geographically as large as
France and had a significantly larger population. Curzon stated the eastern region was neglected
and under-governed. By splitting the province, an improved administration could be established
in the east, where subsequently, the population would benefit from new schools and employment

The partition was generally supported by the Muslims of East Bengal by both their poor
economic conditions in East Bengal and the perceived dominance of the Hindu businessmen and
landlords in West Bengal over the governance of Bengal. Most of the factories and mills in
Bengal were established in and around Calcutta, while many sources of raw materials for these
factories were in East Bengal. Furthermore, most of the educational institutions of the Province
were in Calcutta, including the lone university in Bengal. As a result of the partition, Dacca, the
capital of East Bengal, saw an increase in investment in infrastructure. This included the
construction of administrative buildings like the Curzon Hall and High court, as well as the
foundation of educational institutions in East Bengal and Assam.

The opposition to the partition was led by the educated middle class of western Bengal. Bengali
Hindus were at the forefront of political agitation for greater participation in the governance
under British rule, and many suspected that the partition was designed to curtail Hindu demands
for political representation. Following the partition, an anti-British movement formed in
opposition to the Partition. This involved non-violent and violent protests, boycotts and even an
assassination attempt against the Governor of the new province of West Bengal.

The opening years of the twentieth century were stormy. The political scenario was undergoing a
change, and the British were beginning to feel a bit uneasy. Discontentment was brewing.
Political discontent was growing from the inability of the government to organise effective relief
during the period of plague and famine. To stem the discontent, the British played the political

trump card with great aplomb. For the first time, they used their divide-and-rule political game
with great force. From 1870 onwards, the British started inciting the Hindus and the Muslims to
form their own political parties to establish their distinct religious identities. That was perhaps
the beginning of the communalisation of politics. The British not only encouraged the two
communities to form political parties along religious line but also took various constructive steps
to create a situation in which Hindus and Muslims would be forced to think in a way as if their
religious identity is at peril. That culminated in the partition of Bengal in 1905. The partition was
made along communal lines. This partition provided an impetus to the religious divide and the
All India Muslim League and All India Hindu Mahasabha were formed. Both organisations
aimed at fanning communal passions2.


Muslim League, original name All India Muslim League, political group that led the movement
calling for a separate Muslim nation to be created at the time of the partition of British India
(1947). The Muslim League was founded in 1906 to safeguard the rights of Indian Muslims. At
first the league was encouraged by the British and was generally favourable to their rule, but the
organization adopted self-government for India as its goal in 1913. For several decades the
league and its leaders, notably Mohammed Ali Jinnah, called for Hindu-Muslim unity in a united
and independent India. It was not until 1940 that the league called for the formation of a Muslim
state that would be separate from the projected independent country of India. The league wanted
a separate nation for India’s Muslims because it feared that an independent India would be
dominated by Hindus.

Jinnah and the Muslim League led the struggle for the partition of British India into separate
Hindu and Muslim states, and after the formation of Pakistan in 1947 the league became
Pakistan’s dominant political party. In that year it was renamed the All Pakistan Muslim League.
But the league functioned less effectively as a modern political party in Pakistan than it had as a
mass-based pressure group in British India, and hence it gradually declined in popularity and
cohesion. In the elections of 1954 the Muslim League lost power in East Pakistan (now
Bangladesh), and the party lost power in West Pakistan (now Pakistan) soon afterward. By the


late 1960s the party had split into various factions, and by the 1970s it had disappeared


TheNon Co-operation Movement opened a new chapter in the history of the Freedom Movement
in India. It was the beginning of the Gandhian Movement against the British.

The inauguration of the first non-Co-operation campaign was a great change in Gandhi’s basic
attitude towards the British as well as a swing in the climate of public opinion throughout the
country. This was the first public representation of the technique of political action that would
dominate the Indian scene for the next few years.

This movement fundamentally altered the course of the struggle for freedom. Non-violence and
non-cooperation was initially used for the Khilafat issues in India but subsequently it turned into
a protest against many wrongs of the British rule and became inseparable from the demand for
“swaraj”. On 10th March, 1920, Mahatma Gandhi issued a manifesto elaborating his doctrine of
non-violent and non-cooperation duly approved by the Congress. Many factors forced Gandhi
for this bold step.

India had helped the British people in the worst moments of their history during the war period,
in men, money and materials with an expectation of better reforms by the government. But
instead India was paid back through repressive measures by the use of Rowlatt Laws. In order to
show India’s disapproval to the Act, Gandhi asked his countrymen for a nationwide Satyagraha
and hartal on 6th April 19194.



As a result of the repressive measures the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre came as a crowning act of
the British Government. Gandhi and the Congress demanded justice but justice was denied.
Gandhi, therefore, came to his conclusion that “the only effective means to vindicate national
honour and to prevent a repetition of the wrongs in future is the establishment of Swaraj”.



The Purna Swaraj declaration, or Declaration of the Independence of India, was promulgated by
the Indian National Congress under the influence of Bhagat Singh and other revolutionaries on
19 December 1929, resolving the Congress and Indian nationalists to fight for Purna Swaraj, or
complete self-rule independent of the British Empire (literally in Sanskrit, purna, "complete,"
swa, "self," raj, "rule," thus "complete self-rule").

The flag of India had been hoisted by Gandhi on 31 December 1929, in Lahore, modern-day
Pakistan. The Congress asked the people of India to observe 26 January as Independence Day.
The flag of India was hoisted publicly across India by Congress volunteers, nationalists and the

Before the constitution of India came into force on 26 January 1950, two big laws enacted by
British were the Government of India Act 1935 and Indian Independence Act 1947. Both of
these laws were repealed as per Article 395 of the present constitution on 26 November 1949, the
day on which the constituent assembly of India enacted our constitution. However, we Indians
did not get the opportunity to frame our own constitution overnight. Those were the days when
major decisions about the fate of Indian people were taken in London. For at least 100 years
there was a gradual awakening and it was the unexpressed desire of the people India to write
their own basic law of the land. In 1922, Mahatma Gandhi, while explaining the meaning of
Swaraj had indicated that the Constitution of India would be drafted by Indians. This was
probably the first expressed intention, regarding the Indians made constitution for Indian people.
Six year later, in 1928, for the first time a constitution for India was drafted by Nehru Committee
that was headed by Moti Lal Nehru. A year later, in the Lahore session of December 1929,

Congress passed the Poorna Swaraj resolution. It was the same session in which Jawaharlal
Nehru was elected as president of the Congress. This 41 years old anglophile, aristocratic, and
only son of Motilal Nehru had dedicated all his energy for the national movement and was
youngest president of Congress till that time. He later emerged as Gandhi’s designated successor
to congress leadership. Here, please note that though the congress passed the Poorna Swaraj
Resolution in December 1929, it was a month later on January 26, 1930, when a Pledge of Indian
Independence also known as Declaration of Independence was taken. You must note here that
while the Poorna Swaraj Resolution was drafted by Jawaharlal Lal Nehru, the “Declaration of
Independence” pledge was drafted by Mahatma Gandhi in 1930 and it echoed the essence of
American Declaration of Independence. After this pledge January 26, 1930 was declared as
Independence Day by Indian National Congress. The “declaration of Independence” expresses
the pain and pity of the people of India, highlights the Indian grievances against British.


The Lahore session of the Indian National Congress was held in 1929 under the Presidentship of
Jawaharlal Nehru. h. Its Importance: The Lahore session of the Indian National Congress
witnessed significant developments in the Indian national movement.

In this session Congress had taken such decisions which had far-reaching consequences. Besides,
the signs of the imminent Civil Disobedience Movement were visible in this Congress

When the Nehru Report came before the annual session of the Congress in Calcutta in December
1928, the left lashed it out on the fact that it did not want the complete Independence and wanted
only a dominion status. Independence of India League Meanwhile in April 1928, the
“Independence of India League” was formed with Jawahar Lal Nehru and Subhash Chandra
Bose as Secretaries and S. Srinivasa Iyengar as President. The Congress session at Calcutta
marked an almost split among the leaders who wanted dominion and leaders who wanted
complete Independence6. Ultimately it was resolved that if the British parliament accepts the
Nehru report by 31 December 1929, Congress would adopt the report as it is. If the report is not
accepted by the British parliament, Congress would insist in Complete Independence and would
organize a nonviolent Non cooperation movement. The one year deadline passed and no positive
reply came from the Government. This was followed by Lahore Session of Congress which was
presided by Jawahar Lal Nehru. The most land mark resolution was that the Nehru Committee
Report had now lapsed and Dominion status will not be acceptable. A Poorna Swarajya
Resolution was passed and it was Swarajya means complete Independence. In pursuance with
this resolution, the Central and Provincial Legislatures had to be boycotted completely and all
the future elections were also to be boycotted. A Programme of the Civil Disobedience was to be
launched. On the midnight of December 31, 1929 and January 1, 1930, the deadline of the Nehru
Committee report expired and Jawahar Lal Nehru unfurled the Flag of India’s independence on
the bank of River Ravi in Lahore. The Congress working committee met on January 2, 1930 and
on that day it was decided that the January 26, 1930 should be observed as Poorna Swarajya
Day., as on that day, a Poorna Swarajya pledge was drafted by Mahatma Gandhi7.

A flag a pich of salt by Subdhra sen, pg87


The Quit India Movement, also known as the August Movement was a Civil Disobedience
Movement launched by Gandhi for Satyagraha (independence).

The movement was accompanied by a mass protest on non-violent lines, in which Gandhi called
for “an orderly British withdrawal from India”. Through his passionate speeches, Gandhi moved
people by proclaiming “every Indian who desires freedom and strives for it must be his own
guide…”. “Let every Indian consider himself to be a free man”, Gandhi declared in his fiery “Do
or Die” speech the day the Quit India Movement was declared.The British were prepared for this
massive uprising and within a few hours of Gandhi’s speech most of the Indian National

Congress leaders were swiftly arrested; most of whom had to spend the next three years in jail,
until World War II ended.8 During this time the British were deriving heavy support from the
Viceroy’s Council, Muslims, the Communist Party, princely states, the Indian Army and the
Civil Services. Most Indian businessmen were experiencing profits due to wartime spending and
hence did not support the Quit India Movement9. Most students were drawn towards Subhas
Chandra Bose who was in exile and the only support Indian got from outside the country was
from American President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who compelled the then British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill to agree to the demands of the Indians. But the British refused to do so and
said that this would only be possible when World War II ended.

Isolated incidents of violence broke out around the country, but the British acted quickly and
arrested thousands of people and kept them in jail till 1945. Apart from filling up jails with
rebellious leaders, the British also went ahead and abolished civil rights, freedom of speech and
freedom of press.

The reason why it was so easy for the British to crush the Quit India Movement was because of a
weak coordination and no clear cut plan of action. Though despite of its flaws, the Quit India
Movement remains significant because it was during this movement that the British realized that
they would not be able to govern India successfully in the long run and began to think of ways
they could exit the country in a peaceful and dignified manner.

Another important reason for the launch of the Quit India movement was the threat posed by
Japanese Axis troops, who were closing in on India's north-eastern border in 1942. Indian leaders
didn't have confidence in Britain's ability to defend their country. In this photo, young protesters
carry the tricolour at a procession10.

India wins freedom by Abdul Kalam Azad, pg 76

Reason behind the partition of India


In 1940 A.D. in Lahore Sessions, the Muslims first of all placed their demand for Pakistan in
very clear and main words and proposed to make a Muslim state by uniting the northwest and the
eastern region.

In 1941 A.D. of the time of the Madras Session Muhammad Alijinnah put forth the demand that
the aim of the Muslim League was to establish an independent state in the north western and
easterns provinces.We are not prepared to accept any such constitution as established by the
central Government in entire India. Tinnah delivered fiery speeches and playing with the feelings
of pathans12.

In the 'August Offer' Lord Tinth first of all assured the Indian Muslims that they would be
provided with all protection, if any settlement took place between the British and the Indians.

India struggle for independence by Bipin Chandra, pg 34

Both the Hindus and Muslims rejected the Cripps Plan in 1942 A.D. The Indian National
Congress began the Quite India Movement but the Muslim League did not support it.

As most of the prominent leaders of the congress were behind bars, the leaders of the Muslims
League gave wide publicity to their demand for Pakistan. The Muslim leaders and the students of
Aligarh Muslim University also supported this demand.

The idea of Pakistan was welcomed by the English language News paper 'Dawn" and Urdu
Newspapers 'Jang' and 'Mansur' published from Delhi. The publicity of the Muslim League
succeeded and one after the other many news papers from Calcutta also supported the demand
for Pakistan.

The Indian leaders were also in favour of the creation of Pakistan The proposal of the cabinet
Mission was first accepted by the Muslim league and the congress since 1947 A.D. but soon the
Muslim League rejected it and refused to take part in the Interim Govt. The Muslim League
celebrated the 'Direct Action Day' on 16th July 1946 A.D.

Hence the Hindu Muslim riots broke out in the country. An inter in Govt, was formed and the
leadership of this Govt, was given to Pandit Nehru but the league did not recognise the interim

Govt. A large number of people were killed in the communal riots in different parts of the
country. Ultimately the British Govt, declared in February 1947 to leave India by June 1948
A.D. and Lord Mountbatten was sent to India for the final solution of the Indian problems. As
the league celebrated the Pakistan Day on 27th March 1947 A.D; the people of Punjab and
Bengal resorted to blood-shed and burning of property13.

The interim Govt, failed to control this situation hence the leaders of India accepted the proposal
of Pakistan and thus the draft of Pakistan plan, also known as June plan or Mountbatten plan was
put before the congress and league. It was accepted by both the originations. Thus the Act of
1947 A.D. was passed by the English Govt, and India was partitioned into two independent
states, that is, the Indian union and Pakistan on 15th August 1947 A.D.

Pakistan or Partition of India by B.R Ambedkar , pg 55

Causes of the partition of India:

India and Pakistan won independence in August 1947, following a nationalist struggle lasting
nearly three decades. It set a vital precedent for the negotiated winding up of European empires
elsewhere. Unfortunately, it was accompanied by the largest mass migration in human history of
some 10 million. As many as one million civilians died in the accompanying riots and local-level
fighting, particularly in the western region of Punjab which was cut in two by the border.

The agreement to divide colonial India into two separate states - one with a Muslim majority
(Pakistan) and the other with a Hindu majority (India) is commonly seen as the outcome of
conflict between the nations' elites. This explanation, however, renders the mass violence that
accompanied partition difficult to explain.

One explanation for the chaos in which the two nations came into being, is Britain's hurried
withdrawal with the realisation it could ill afford its over-extended empire.

If Pakistan were indeed created as a homeland for Muslims, it is hard to understand why far more
were left behind in India than were incorporated into the new state of Pakistan - a state created in

two halves, one in the east (formerly East Bengal, now Bangladesh) and the other 1,700
kilometres away on the western side of the subcontinent [see map].

It is possible that Mohammed Ali Jinnah, leader of the Muslim League, simply wished to use the
demand for a separate state as a bargaining chip to win greater power for Muslims within a
loosely federated India. Certainly, the idea of 'Pakistan' was not thought of until the late 1930s.

One explanation for the chaotic manner in which the two independent nations came into being is
the hurried nature of the British withdrawal. This was announced soon after the victory of the
Labour Party in the British general election of July 1945, amid the realisation that the British
state, devastated by war, could not afford to hold on to its over-extended empire14.

Midnight children by Salman Rushdie, pg 43

The partition of India was the most significant event in the history of India. Its chief reason was
the antic thinking of the Muslims and their communalism. But the circumstances under which it
occurred made it one of the saddest events of the history of India. No doubt, the Hindus and the
Muslims were living together since long but they failed to inculcate the feeling of harmony and
unity among themselves.

The funatic leaders played a prominent role in stoking the fires of rabid communalism. As a
result, the partition of India and formation of Pakistan took place. The following factors
contributed to it.

1. Activities of the Muslim League:

The English Govt played a significant role in the formation of Muslim League. The English
wanted to create dissensions among the people India in order to consolidate their own position.

The chief aim of the Muslim League was so spread the poison of communalism and the Muslim
leaders had their own axe to grind through the medium of this organisation. In the beginning the
Muslim League did not prove to be an influential organisation due to its narrow and negative
approach. M. A. Jinnah's two nation theory was actually a slogan for the formation of a separate
nation for the Indian Muslims.

2. Congress's policy of Appeasement:

No doubt, in the partition of India and making of Pakistan, the policies of the English Govt, and
the Muslim League were responsible to a great extent but the policy of appealement of the
Muslims, adopted by the congress also proved helpful in this field.

Unfortunately congress did not try to understand the isolationist and aggressive policy of the
Muslim and it continued to sustain the false, hope that there might be some miracle by which the
communal problem could be averted forever.

The leaders of congress failed to under stand the Muslim character and they continued to commit
blunders. In 1916 A.D. of the Lucknow Pact, they accepted the principle of separate franchise for
the Muslims and the next blunder was committed by them at the time of accepting the communal
electorate system in 1932 A.D.

3. Communal Reaction:

As a result of Muslim communalism, Hindu communalism also came into being. The staunch
Hindus formed an organisation. Hindu Maha Sabha and other organisation.

The system of Shuddic which was adopted by the Arya Sainaj created doubt in the minds of the
Muslims. Hindu Maha Sabha not only raised a slogan for the establishment of this nation but
also blamed the congress for being anti- Hindu organisation. As a result of the Hindu
communalism, the Muslim communalism grew all the more powerful and they raised the slogan
of a separate nation.

4. Congress policy of strengthening India:

The Congress felt that there was one alternative to get ride of this problem and that was the
partition of India

5. Formation of weak Pakistan:


Various leaders of India opined that from political, economic, geographical and military points
of view, Pakistan would prove to be a weak nation instead of being a stable one and owing to its
own shortcomings; Pakistan could again be incorporated into India. In fact, the unwanted
optimism of the Indian leaders also contributed to the making of Pakistan.

6. Development Transfer of power:

The British Prime Minister Attlee declared on 20th Feb. 1947 A.D. that in every condition the
English would leave India by June 1948 A.D.

This declaration created a fear in the hearts of the Indian leaders incases, India was not divided
by that date, a civil war would breakout and the country divided into various parts. So, the


members of the congress accepted the partition proposal because they did not want to annoy
Mountbatten nor did they wish to offend the British Government in that any valid reason.

After acceptance of the partition of India by the Muslim League riots broke out in different parts
of country. On 20th Feb. 1947 A.D. the British Prime Minister declared that by June 1948 A.D.
they would leave Indian by all mean and in the meant time the British drew up the Indian
Independence Act of 1947 A.D.

An act of parliament proposed a date for the transfer of power into Indian hands in June 1948,
summarily advanced to August 1947 at the whim of the last viceroy, Lord Louis Mountbatten.
This left a great many issues and interests unresolved at the end of colonial rule.

In charge of negotiations, the viceroy exacerbated difficulties by focusing largely on Jinnah's

Muslim League and the Indian National Congress (led by Jawaharlal Nehru).

The two parties' representative status was established by Constituent Assembly elections in July
1946, but fell well short of a universal franchise.

Tellingly, although Pakistan celebrated its independence on 14 August and India on 15 August
1947, the border between the two new states was not announced until 17 August.

It was hurriedly drawn up by a British lawyer, Cyril Radcliffe, who had little knowledge of
Indian conditions and with the use of out-of-date maps and census materials16.

Communities, families and farms were cut in two, but by delaying the announcement the British
managed to avoid responsibility for the worst fighting and the mass migration that had followed.

The following were the main provision of Indian Independence Act of 1947 A.D.

(a) On 15th August 1947 A.D. after the partition of India two Independent kingdoms, such as
India and Pakistan would be established.


(b) In the territory of India all the provinces of British India would be included excepting the
territory which would be included in Pakistan.

(c) Eastern Bengal, Western Punjab, Sindh and North West Frontier province would be included
in Pakistan.

(d) Both the nations would decide of their own accord if they had to accept the membership of
the British common wealth of nations or not.

(e) The British crown would appoint separate governor generals in both the states but in case
both of them wanted to share one viceroy with their mutual consent, they could be permitted.

(f) The supremacy of the crown would come to an end and pacts so far made between the crown
and the native rulers would be treated as nullified.

(g) The title of Emperor of India awarded to the British crown would be abolished and the post
of the Secretary of state for India would also come to and end.

(h) The native rulers would have the choice to accede to any state according to their own choice.

So the second phase of the constitutional development of India also came to end on the 15th
August, 1947 A.D. at midnight and India became free.

Tensions in India

Many have wondered why the British and Indian leaders did not delay until a better deal over
borders could have been agreed. One explanation is that in the months and years immediately
following World War Two, leaders on all sides were losing control and were keen to strike a deal
before the country descended into chaos.

Immediately before World War Two, India was ravaged by the impact of the Great Depression,
bringing mass unemployment. This created tremendous tensions exacerbated during the war by
inflation and food grain shortages. Rationing was introduced in Indian cities and in Bengal a
major famine developed in 1942.

The resulting discontent was expressed in widespread violence accompanying the Congress
party's 'Quit India' campaign of 1942 - a violence only contained by the deployment of 55 army

The last months of British rule were marked by a naval mutiny, wage strikes and successful
demonstrations in every major city.

With the cessation of hostilities, the battalions at the disposal of the government in India were
rapidly diminished. At the same time, the infrastructure of the Congress Party, whose entire
leadership was imprisoned due to their opposition to the war, had been dismantled.

The Muslim League, which co-operated with the British, had rapidly increased its membership,
yet still had very limited grassroots level organisation.

This was dramatically revealed on the 16 August 1946, when Jinnah called for a 'Direct Action
Day' by followers of the League in support of the demand for Pakistan. The day had dissolved
into random violence and civil disruption across north India, with thousands of lives lost.

This was interpreted by the British as evidence of the irreconcilable differences between Hindus
and Muslims. In reality, the riots were evidence as much of a simple lack of military and political
control as they were of social discord17.


Further evidence of the collapse of government authority was to be seen in the Princely State of
Hyderabad, where a major uprising occurred in the Telengana region, and with the Tebhaga
('two-thirds') agitation among share-cropping cultivators in north Bengal. A leading role was
played in both by the Communist Party of India.

Elsewhere, the last months of British rule were marked by a naval mutiny, wage strikes and
successful demonstrations in every major city. In all of these conflicts the British colonial
government remained aloof, as it concentrated on the business of negotiating a speedy transfer of

Hopes for Pakistan

Strong support for the idea of an independent Pakistan came from large Muslim landowning
families in the Punjab and Sindh, who saw it as an opportunity to prosper within a captive market
free from competition.

Support also came from the poor peasantry of East Bengal, who saw it as an opportunity to
escape from the clutches of moneylenders - often Hindu. Both were to be disappointed.
Independent Pakistan inherited India's longest and strategically most problematic borders.

The heartland of support for the Muslim League lay in Uttar Pradesh, which was not included
within Pakistan.

At the same time, 90% of the subcontinent's industry, and taxable income base remained in
India, including the largest cities of Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta. The economy of Pakistan was
chiefly agricultural, and controlled by feudal elites.

Furthermore, at the division of India, Pakistan won a poor share of the colonial government's
financial reserves - with 23% of the undivided land mass, it inherited only 17.5% of the former
government's financial assets. Once the army had been paid, nothing was left over for the
purposes of economic development.

The great advantage enjoyed by the Indian National Congress was that it had worked hard for 40
years to reconcile differences and achieve some cohesion among its leaders. The heartland of

support for the Muslim League, however, lay in central north India (Uttar Pradesh) which was
not included within Pakistan.

Muslims from this region had to flee westwards and compete with resident populations for
access to land and employment, leading to ethnic conflict, especially in Sindh.

Post-partition and conflict over Kashmir

The death of Muhammed Ali Jinnah in 1948, the conflict with India over the Princely State of
Kashmir (which both countries claimed at independence), as well as ethnic and religious
differences within Pakistan itself, all combined to stymie early attempts to agree on a
constitution and an effectively functioning civil administration.

This failure paved the way for a military takeover of the government in 1958 and later on, a civil
war in 1971. This saw the division of the country and the creation of the separate state of
Bangladesh. Ever since then, military rule has been more often than not the order of the day in
both countries.

India has maintained remarkable cohesion since independence, especially considering it is nearly
the size of Europe. At independence, in India and in Pakistan, civil unrest as well as ethnic and
religious discord threatened the stability of the new country. However, the assassination of
Mahatma Gandhi on 30 January 1948 by a Hindu fanatic strengthened the hand of secularists
within the government.

Indian politicians ratified a constitution, which led to the first democratic elections in 1951. This
made India the world's largest democracy and consolidated governmental authority over the
entire subcontinent.

However, major tensions have persisted among both Muslim and Sikh communities, which
suffered most from the violence and land loss resulting from partition. These tensions erupted
most seriously in the 1980s in a violent campaign for the creation of a separate Sikh state which
led ultimately to the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

Renewed victimisation of Muslims has also occurred, notably with the destruction of the Muslim
shrine at Ayodhya in 1992 and anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat in 2004. With such notable
exceptions, however, India has maintained a remarkable level of cohesion since independence,
especially if one considers that it is a country nearly the size of Europe.

For both India and Pakistan, the most singular conflict unresolved since partition has concerned
the former Princely State of Kashmir, whose fate was left undetermined at the time the British
left. Lying as it did on the border, Kashmir was claimed by both countries, which have been to
war over this region on numerous occasions.

The conflict has wasted thousands of lives and millions of dollars, but is closer to a solution now
than at any time since independence. If achieved, it might finally bring to fruition the dreams of
Mohammed Ali Jinnah and Mahatma Gandhi and once more set an example for post-colonial
societies elsewhere in Africa, Asia and the Middle East to imitate and follow.


Independence, population transfer, and violence:

Massive population exchanges occurred between the two newly formed states in the months
immediately following Partition. "The population of undivided India in 1947 was approx 390
million. After partition, there were 330 million people in India, 30 million in West Pakistan, and
30 million people in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)." Once the lines were established, about
14.5 million people crossed the borders to what they hoped was the relative safety of religious
majority. The 1951 Census of Pakistan identified the number of displaced persons in Pakistan at
7,226,600, presumably all Muslims who had entered Pakistan from India. Similarly, the 1951
Census of India enumerated 7,295,870 displaced persons, apparently all Hindus and Sikhs who
had moved to India from Pakistan immediately after the Partition. The two numbers add up to
14.5 million. Since both censuses were held about 3.6 years after the Partition, the enumeration
included net population increase after the mass migration.
About 11.2 million ( 77.4% of the displaced persons) were in the west, with
the Punjab accounting for most of it: 6.5 million Muslims moved from India to West Pakistan,
and 4.7 million Hindus and Sikhs moved from West Pakistan to India; thus the net migration in
the west from India to West Pakistan (now Pakistan) was 1.8 million.

Fig :A crowd of Muslims at the Old Fort (Purana Qila) in Delhi, which had been converted into a vast camp for
Muslim refugees waiting to be transported to Pakistan. 18

The remaining 3.3 million (22.6% of the displaced persons) were in the east: 2.6 million moved
from East Pakistan to India and 0.7 million moved from India to East Pakistan (now
Bangladesh); thus net migration in the east was 1.9 million into India. The newly formed
governments were completely unequipped to deal with migrations of such staggering magnitude,
and massive violence and slaughter occurred on both sides of the border. Estimates of the
number of deaths vary, with low estimates at 200,000 and high estimates at 1,000,000.19

The Indian state of East Punjab was created in 1947, when the Partition of India split the former
British province of Punjab between India and Pakistan. The mostly Muslim western part of the
province became Pakistan's Punjab province; the mostly Sikh and Hindu eastern part became
India's East Punjab state. Many Hindus and Sikhs lived in the west, and many Muslims lived in
the east, and the fears of all such minorities were so great that the Partition saw many people
displaced and much inter communal violence.
Lahore and Amritsar were at the centre of the problem; the Boundary Commission was not sure
where to place them – to make them part of India or Pakistan. The Commission decided to give
Lahore to Pakistan, whilst Amritsar became part of India. Some areas in Punjab, including
Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, and Gujrat, had a large Sikh and Hindu population, and many of the
residents were attacked or killed. On the other side, in East Punjab, cities such as
Amritsar, Ludhiana, Gurdaspur, and Jalandhar had a majority Muslim population, of which
thousands were killed or emigrated.

Manchester Guardian, 27 September 1947.
Death toll in the partition,

{ Partition of Bengal (1947)}

The province of Bengal was divided into the two separate entities of West Bengal belonging to
India, and East Bengal belonging to Pakistan. East Bengal was renamed East Pakistan in 1955,
and later became the independent nation of Bangladesh after the Bangladesh Liberation War of
While the Muslim majority districts of Murshidabad and Malda were given to India, the Hindu
majority district of Khulna and the majority Buddhist, but sparsely populated Chittagong Hill
Tracts was given to Pakistan by the award.
Hindu Sindhis were expected to stay in Sindh following Partition, as there were good relations
between Hindu and Muslim Sindhis. At the time of Partition there were 1,400,000 Hindu
Sindhis, though most were concentrated in cities such as Hyderabad, Karachi, Shikarpur,
and Sukkur. However, because of an uncertain future in a Muslim country, a sense of better
opportunities in India, and most of all a sudden influx of Muslim refugees from Gujarat, Uttar
Pradesh, Bihar,Rajputana (Rajasthan) and other parts of India, many Sindhi Hindus decided to
leave for India.
Problems were further aggravated when incidents of violence instigated by Muslim refugees
broke out in Karachi and Hyderabad. According to the 1951 Census of India, nearly 776,000
Sindhi Hindus fled to India.20 Unlike the Punjabi Hindus and Sikhs, Sindhi Hindus did not have
to witness any massive scale rioting; however, their entire province had gone to Pakistan and
thus they felt like a homeless community. Despite this migration, a significant Sindhi Hindu
population still resides in Pakistan's Sindh province where they number at around 2.28 million as
per Pakistan's 1998 census; the Sindhi Hindus in India were at 2.57 million as per India's 2001
Census. Some bordering districts in Sindh were Hindu Majority likeTharparkar
District, Umerkot, Mirpurkhas, Sanghar and Badin, but their population is decreasing and they

Claude Markovits .The Global World of Indian Merchants, 1750–1947. (Cambridge University Press) 278.

consider themselves a minority in decline. In fact, only Umerkot still has a majority of Hindus in
the district.21


The partition of India was neither the result of the allegedly inevitable clash between Hindus and
Muslims ways of life nor was it due to any inherent inability of Islam to co-exist with other
religions. It was largely due to the policy of British imperialism encouraging, sometimes openly
and often with a consummate sanctimonious mask of impartiality and conflict of interests
between the economically powerful and politically ambitious classes of both communities. At
the root of partition lay distinct antagonism between the two principal communities of the sub-
continent. The division of humans into mutually exclusive group identities of tribe, nation, caste,
religion and class seems to serve two important psychological functions. The first is to increase
the feeling of well being in the narcisstic realm by locating one’s own group at the centre of the
universe, superior to others, and second the shared grandiose itself, maintained by legends,
myths and rituals, seems to demand a conviction that other groups are inferior. Ethnic groups
that use ethnicity to make demands in the political arena for alteration in their status, in their
economic well being, in their civil rights, or in their educational opportunities are engaged in a
form of group politics. They demand a major say for the group in the political system as a whole
or control over a piece of territory within the country, or they demand a country of their own
with full sovereignty. A nation, therefore, may be seen as a particular type of ethnic community
or, rather as an ethnic community politicized, with recognized group rights in the political
system. Nation-states are the subjects and creators of a global network or ethnic minorities as
political actors. In modern times, especially 20th century ethnicity has become important in
politics and ethno-nationalism has been the distinguishing characteristic of nationalism.
Nationalism is both an ideology and a form of behaviour. The ideology of nationalism build on
peoples awareness of a nation or national selfconsciousness to give a set of attitudes and a
programme of action. These may be cultural, economic or political. So nation (as a group of
people who feel to be a community bound together by common, history, religion, common

"Population of Hindus in the World". Pakistan Hindu Council.

descent and citizenship) can be defined in ethnic, social or official sense. Nationalism can also
take these forms also. The use of word ethno-nationalism suggests that there is a distinction
between an ethnic group and a nation. It may be pointed out that in plural societies, prevalence of
a dominant group, politically and economically, regulates other smaller ethnic groups into a
secondary position. It results in discontent in the society in a large or small number because
policies of the state become beneficial to few and harmful to others. The process of
modernization unfolding social change inserts ethnic consciousness and group solidarity among
the desperate ethnic groups. This indeed give rise to a conflictual nationalism. The principle
dangers of violent conflict arise when all routes to power in an existing system seem closed to an
organized force and when the possibility of changing the political arena is a real one. The
existence of one of these conditions is often sufficient to be conductive to ethnic conflict. The
existence of both is particularly dangerous. One or both of these conditions have existed in such
far-flung places of India in 1947, in Nazi Germany and recently in Yugoslavia and the Hutu-
Tutsi killings in Rwanda. Some historians, both Indian and Pakistani, suggest that the Hindus
and Muslims in colonial India constituted two separate nations can be projected back into
medieval history. They emphasise that the events of 1947 were intimately connected to the long
history of Hindu Muslim conflict throughout medieval and modern times. Communal identities
were consolidated by a host of other developments in the early twentieth century. During the
1920s and early 1930s tension grew around a number of issues. Muslims were angered by music
before mosque, cow protection movement, and by 203 the efforts of the Arya Samaj to bring
back to the Hindu fold (Shuddhi) those who had recently converted to Islam22. As middle class
publicists and communal activists sought to build greater solidarity within their communities,
mobilising people against the other community, riots spread in different parts of the country.
Every communal riot deepened differences between communities and create violence. The
prospects of League in Punjab was always in doldrums because of the Unionist Party. The
League’s prospects further narrowed down after the collapse of Jinnah-Sikander Hayat Khan
Pact in 1944. In Punjab, during 1945-46, communal politics burst into villages and their passions
were aroused and inspired by the message of Pakistan; the cries of Allah-o-Akbar, Pakistan ban
ke rahega were raised in political meetings in Punjab. The proposals of Cripps and Cabinet
Mission Plan ultimately brought ‘Direct-Action Day’ and riot started in big way in the country.


Pakistan was won, but people on both sides of the fence were tormented by killings, loss of
families and by the scale and magnitude of this tragedy. Communal riots occur because there is a
development of communal ideology in society. Communalism refers to a politics that seeks to
unify one community around a religious identity in hostile opposition to another community23. In
order to unify the community, communalism suppresses distinctions within the community and
emphasis the essential unity of the community against other communities. Communalism
nurtures a politics of hatred for an identified “other Hindus” in the case of Muslim
Communalism and “Muslims” in the case of Hindu Communalism. This hatred feeds a politics
of violence. As an ideology, communalism refers to the belief that people belonging to one
religion also share common socioeconomic, political and cultural interests. The South Asian
societies are threatened by the lack of cultural homogeneity and the lack of a strong state or (a
biased state government like British government in 204 India) fails to ensure order in society. In
such situations, the religious bigotry leads to communal frenzy and results in riots. During the
course of Indian independence movement, the Muslims always had a fear of majority Hindus,
who could dictate them. Occasionally the fear of minority led them to rioting24.

Due to partition of Punjab, the Pakistani Punjabi began to develop on different lines
with large number of Persian words and Punjabi in India began to absorb Hindi words. The
partition caused an upheaval in the social structure. The refugees found themselves aliens in their
new surroundings. The very places, the physical and geographical environment and people
among whom they were required to spend their lives and develop new relationships were
unfamiliar. In the West Punjab, this led to the evil practices of beggary, prostitution, delinquency
and crime. ‘Refugees’ everywhere in the world have generally found at first a warm response
from those among they are placed, but with the lapse of time they develop a feeling that they are
not really getting what they had counted upon, their sufferings have not been properly
appreciated, and that they are generally misunderstood. In the case of evacuees from West
Pakistan a similar complex had developed25. The sudden uprooting from their homes due to


S. Kaul. (ed.), The Partitions of Memory: the afterlife of the division of India (Bloomington: Indiana University
Press, 2001)

political reasons led the refugees to believe that the Republic of India was the direct outcome of
the immense sacrifices made by them. Hence they legitimately expected more consideration
from the local population. This led to the development of more aggressive attitude among them.
It is beyond doubt that partition dealt a severe blow to the economy of Punjab. It adversely
affected the condition of both agriculture and industry. The entire economy of the nation
including that Punjab could be seen in a shattered and disintegrated state. Independence brought
with it a change in the dynamics of political power game. It signified the transfer of power from
the hands of the colonial masters to the national elite. In the Punjab, rural elites came to wield
power in the political set up. The political and economic 215 compulsions led the state to divert
its energy in the rehabilitation of the province26. A series of challenges were posed before the
newly formed state. Rehabilitation process could be accomplished largely owing to the patience,
perseverance, will power and mobility displayed by the Punjabis in their character. The
collaborative efforts of the state and overwhelming response of its people cumulatively, resulted
in gradual recovery of the agricultural, industrial and economy of the province from the hard
hitting blow of partition.




Ayesha Jalal. ,The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League and the demand
for Pakistan (Cambridge University Press, 1985)

S. Kaul. (ed.), The Partitions of Memory: the afterlife of the division of India
(Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001)

Salman Rousdie , The Midnight Children

Gyanendra Pandey.Remembering Partition: violence, nationalism and history in

India (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001)

R. Metcalf. A concise history of India.( Cambridge University Press, (2002)) p. 257

1. Manchester Guardian, 27 September 1947.

1. (visited at 6 pm)
2. visited at 9 pm)
3. ( visited at 4 pm)
4. ( visited at 1 pm)
5. ( visited at 7 pm)
6., Economist. ( visited at 11 pm)
and-Bangladesh. ( visited on at 7 pm)
8. ( visited at 7 am)
9. ( visited at 7:30 am)