Lahore is second largest city in Pakistan and is the capital of the Punjab province. It is a relatively rich, progressive, and cosmopolitan cities in Pakistan. Many different emperors came through the city of Lahore bringing with them the culture and people of their home towns. Surely Lahore is a favorable city to have been utilized by so many different types of people. During the 16th and 18th centuries, Lahore reached it height and glory under the Mughal empire After ward the Sikh empire came to house the city and finally the British had power over the land before independence was reached. Independence came in the for of the Pakistan Movement which called for the declaration of independence and the establishment of Pakistan. In 1941 the city was 64.5% Muslim and 35% Hindu and Sikh. Tensions over the boundary lines during the partition period, after British rule, were high as citizens argued over how much the Muslim majority should give power to some people and take power from others. This was a very violent period for the city of Lahore and there were riots, destroyed homes and fires that destroyed buildings and hurt people. This caused many of the Hindu and Sikh citizens to vacate the area for their safety and for refuge. Pakistan’s independence was declared on August 14, 1947 and Lahore was declared the capital until, after the riots, an unstable population and decrease in manufacturing created an economic decline. The new capital was made Karachi which was more prosperous. Until 1970, Lahore was in a reconstructive phase recovering from the riots and rebuilding the city. With a population decline, jobs were left unfilled and this partly kept the manufacturing production levels down. In 2009, there was an attack on the Sri Lanka national cricket team in Lahore committed by a militant organization. That is the biggest and most recent event in Lahore.
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
The partitioning of Bengal was brought about by Lord Curzon, who was the British viceroy as well as the Governor-General of British India in 1905 (Roy, 2014). Curzon argued that Bengal could not be governed effectively due to its large size and had to be divided into East Bengal and West Bengal. East Bengal was largely inhabited by Muslims whereas West Bengal was dominated by Hindus. The decision to divide India was an attempt to weaken the population by turning it against itself to minimize resistance. The Muslims in the western part supported the decision because it allowed them to do business without the interference of the Hindus who had dominated Bengal’s business environment. East Bengal was neglected and isolated due to the poor communication system in the area (Roy, 2014). However, the Hindus of West Bengal protested against the decision since it made them minorities in the East and regarded the division as an act of strangling Bengal’s nationalism. Protests escalated from mass meetings to boycotting of British goods.
The partition resulted in massive resettlement as Hindus moved to the East whereas Muslims moved to the West. The partition led to the death of many local people as the British officials took on protesters. The debate on the division of Bengal has never ended long after India got its independence. Refugees, infiltrators, and migrates continuously flow across the borders of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh which were formed from the partition (Sengupta, 2011). Both the Indian and Pakistan governments have tried to stop the influx of refugees across the borders of the two countries. Initially, the Hindus fled East Bengal for safety which had become part of Pakistan, which was dominated by Muslims. However, the poor populations in the two divides were unable to migrate and decided to stay in their original locations (Roy, 2014). Although the British colonists may not have managed to reap the benefits of the partition then, they managed to turn the local communities against one another leading to the formation of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
Roy, K. (2014). Partition of British India: Causes and Consequences Revisited. India Review, 13(1), 78-86. doi:10.1080/14736489.2014.873681
Sengupta, D. (2011). From Dandakaranya to Marichjhapi: rehabilitation, representation and the partition of Bengal (1947). Social Semiotics, 21(1), 101-123. doi:10.1080/10350330.2011.535673