1947, August 15th, British India was split into two different independent nation states. It consisted of Hindu majority India and Muslim majority Pakistan. The main vehicle for the Partition was the Indian National Congress with the best-known leaders including Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Before the 1940s, it had long argued for a single state with a strong centre. Unfortunately, other organizations supporting minorities felt their plan seemed sketchy. Because of Hindus taking up 80% of the population, people believed it could protect the political dominance. The situation sparked one the biggest migrations in human history. Tons of people and families traveled, and some did not make it. On the India side, societies that had lived there for years were suddenly fighting each other due to the shocking new reality of local violence. It was a mutual massacre that was unique and new. Additionally, there became “massacres, arson, forced conversions, mass abductions, and savage sexual violence. Some seventy-five thousand women were raped, and many of them were then disfigured or dismembered” (Dalrymple 2015). Many British soldiers and journalists who had experience with the Nazi death camps explained that the partition was worse – including “pregnant women had their breasts cut off and babies hacked out of their bellies; infants were found literally roasted on spits” (Dalrymple 2015). However, there was no comparison in these two distinct events.
By 1948, the journey came to a termination. Ayesha Jalal writes that it was a “defining moment that is neither beginning nor end, partition continues to influence how the peoples and states of postcolonial South Asia envisage their past, present and future” (Dalrymple 2015). This shows the suffering of so many people and families who have had to discover ways to understand background due to unforeseen acts by the partition. People are and were strong headed about their beliefs and would fight for that if they felt threatened and by any means necessary. “Many of the people concerned were very deeply attached not just to religious identity, but to territory” (The Conversation 2017). Additionally, both states had difficulty handling the needs and recovering post refugees from what had arisen. By the 1960s families were still migrating. Today, India and Pakistan are still trying to figure solutions out. This was by far one the most devastating times of history for South Asia.
William, Dalrymple. (2015, June 15). The violent legacy of Indian Partition. Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/06/29/the-great-divide-books-dalrymple
Pant, Harsh. M. (2016, September 26). Kashmir flare-up puts India under new pressure to deal with Pakistan. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/how-the-partition-of-india-happened-and-why-its-effects-are-still-felt-today-81766