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  • Writer's pictureDean Clark

The Struggle of Recovery from Partition

Most will ask what the Partition of India was, to which the answer is the action that Britain did in splitting their land in India into two countries. India and Pakistan, the countries created in the partition, did not split peacefully, and are still struggling to recover from the results of it.

At the time, two religions were most prevalent in the British territory: Hindu, making up around 75% of the population, and Islam, making up most of the other 25%. The Indian National Congress had existed under the British, pushing for a state with a united center between all the groups. However, some Muslims disagreed, since their minority was protected under the British Government, and feared that it would be jeopardized.

While both groups had their differences, when World War II came around, Britain would push the Indian territory into the war. This led to protests, mass movements, and imprisonment of many Indian leaders, but the Muslims would stay faithful to the British and ask for their own separate state, known as Pakistan.

During the war, Indian leaders were put in jail for speaking out about wanting their own territory, with nationalist movements rising out of this. Violence ensued, and Britain was seen as not taking enough or thorough time to do this, which gave India the advantage in the fight for independence.

After the war, Britain was financially stretched too thin and could not control all of their territories, needing to minimize. After death, fighting for freedom, and eventually getting it through partition, riots, casualties, and migration occurred between the two groups.

The provinces of Bengal and Punjab are still split along religious lines, with many people initially forced to move. In 1947-1948, the two states went to war over the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir, with India gaining control of two thirds of the area. Fighting did not end there, as still today, Kashmir is a point of contention between the two. Both countries have nuclear weapons, non Hindu Muslims in India are suspected of being spies, and many other people are negatively affected by the partition.

Personal grief and trauma from family members dying, having to relocate and lose family traditions, lost many people’s hope for unity or peace, and worsening relations between the two groups still remains as an effect. On both sides, many people believe that partition was not the best idea for either side, causing so much conflict between the two communities, and has substantially changed the course of the two groups’ history.

While both India and Pakistan ended up getting their own countries, the way that it occurred was vastly different. Pakistan, because of it’s loyalty toward Britain, they more peacefully had got independence, but it was because Britain couldn’t control all of their territories, including India. India, on the other hand, fought tooth and nail for their independence and was seemingly constantly punished by the British who thought they would revolt.

To conclude, the relationship between India and Pakistan has not become much better since their initial warring days of earlier on. The British Partition which separated the two countries not only gave them some freedom, but also inherently pitted them against each other, and the feud has yet to cease. The trauma caused to members of both sides is immeasurable, with over a million estimated dead from the conflict. Overall, if the two groups can come to some agreement over land, set aside differences and realize they both gained independence from the same mother country, they may be able to make an alliance that could make them closer than ever before.

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