Dynamics of the Refugee Movement During and After the Partition

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Dynamics of the Refugee Movement during and after the Partition

Several themes have been identified in the film “Khamosh Pani”, all speaking about the society and politics of Pakistan and the influence of the partition on the two. The concept goes from discussing the refugee movements to Zia’s Islamization and the religious intolerance to position of women in our culture. In my paper, I’ll be talking mostly about the dynamics of the refugee movement during and after 1947.

India was divided on the 14th and 15th of August, 1947 into the sovereign states of the union of India (latter republic of India) and the dominion of Pakistan (latter renamed as Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Peoples Republic of Bangladesh). The partition was broadcasted in the Indian Independence act 1947 and resulted in the dissolution of the British Indian Empire.

Punjab was divided into two, the west side for Punjab of Pakistan and the east side for Punjab of India. The major districts affected were jallunder, Gurdespur and Hoslipur. Sadly the people of this area knew not until almost the last minute whether they were to put as part of India or Pakistan. Apart from this, Bengal province was divided into East Pakistan (Bangladesh after 1971), far from the rest of the country (West Pakistan).

The Partition resulted in the relocation of around eight million Muslims, and some what the same numbers of Sikhs and Hindus, across the Indo-Pakistan borders in the in 1947. This has been recorded as the largest refugee movement of the 20th century, and was accompanied by communal violence and atrocities committed on all sides of the religious spectrum, with a death toll calculated at approximately 1 million.

People were moving from east Punjab to west Punjab and vice versa, west Bengal to east and people from the mainland India, United Province /Central Province/Delhi mainly migrated to urban area of Pakistan especially Karachi and Hyderabad. Over all some 14 million people left...
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