The partition of Indian subcontinent in August in 1947

The partition of Indian subcontinent in August in 1947

India won its independence from the British In August, 1947. When, after three hundred years in India, the British finally left, the subcontinent was partitioned into two independent nation states: Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan that would rule themselves.

The partition of India was outlined in the Indian Independence Act 1947, which resulted in the dissolution of the British Raj, or Crown rule in India, creating the separate countries of India and Pakistan.

British officials became convinced that partition of India, an idea first proposed by India’s Muslims, would be the only way to ensure a safe and secure region.

Partition meant the division of India into a separate Hindu and Muslim states that would rule themselves to accommodate religious differences between Pakistan, which has a majority Muslim population, and India, which is primarily Hindu.

One of the immediate effect of the partition of India was the mass migration of Muslims and Hindus and the emergence of shortages both in India and Pakistan. While there was food shortage in India, there was consumer goods shortage in Pakistan.

The partition of India gave way to the refugee problem. As a result of the partition, 300 million refugees had come into India from what was now Pakistan.

The partition triggered riots, mass casualties, and a colossal wave of migration. Millions of people moved to what they hoped would be safer territory, with Muslims heading towards Pakistan, and Hindus and Sikhs in the direction of India.

It had to deal with the problems of poverty, unemployment, rehabilitation of people, creation of harmony among people and establishing law and order.

Then there was the problem of princely states, almost 500 of them, each ruled by a raja, had to be persuaded to join the nation.

Another challenge India faced after the partition was the division of assets: Tensions stretched to a breaking point with Pakistan over the division of assets. According to the Indo- Pakistan financial settlement of 1947 India had to pay 55 crores as the latter’s share of the assets.

Religious extremism, casteism, terrorist activity and secessionist sectarian violence in the regions or states re-surfaced as well.

On top of that, India has unresolved territorial disputes with China which in 1962 escalated into a war, and with Pakistan which resulted in 1947 war.