Partition Literature of India

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The Partition of India
"A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance." -Jawarhalal Nehru 14 August, 1947, saw the birth of the new Islamic Republic of Pakistan. At midnight the next day India won its freedom from colonial rule, ending nearly 350 years of British presence in India. During the struggle for freedom, Gandhi had written an appeal "To Every Briton" to free their possessions in Asia and Africa, especially India (Philips and Wainwright, 567). The British left India divided in two. The two countries were founded on the basis of religion, with Pakistan as an Islamic state and India as a secular one. Whether the partition of these countries was wise and whether it was done too soon is still under debate. Even the imposition of an official boundary has not stopped conflict between them. Boundary issues, left unresolved by the British, have caused two wars and continuing strife between India and Pakistan. The partition of India and its freedom from colonial rule set a precedent for nations such as Israel, which demanded a separate homeland because of the irreconcilable differences between the Arabs and the Jews. The British left Israel in May 1948, handing the question of division over to the UN. Un-enforced UN Resolutions to map out boundaries between Israel and Palestine has led to several Arab-Israeli wars and the conflict still continues.

1600-British East India Company is established.
1857-The Indian Mutiny or The First War of Independence.
1858-The India Act: power transferred to British Government. 1885-Indian National Congress founded by A. O. Hume to unite all Indians and strengthen bonds with Britain. 1905-First Partition of Bengal for administrative purposes. Gives the Muslims a majority in that state. 1906-All India Muslim League founded to promote Muslim political interests. 1909-Revocation of Partition of Bengal. Creates anti-British and anti-Hindu sentiments among Muslims as they lose their majority in East Bengal. 1916-Lucknow Pact. The Congress and the League unite in demand for greater self-government. It is denied by the British. 1919-Rowlatt Acts, or black acts passed over opposition by Indian members of the Supreme Legislative Council. These were peacetime extensions of wartime emergency measures. Their passage causes further disaffection with the British and leads to protests. Amritsar Massacre. General Dyer opens fire on 20,000 unarmed Indian civilians at a political demonstration against the Rowlatt Acts. Congress and the League lose faith in the British. 1919-Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms (implemented in 1921). A step to self-government in India within the Empire, with greater provincialisation, based on a dyarchic principle in provincial government as well as administrative responsibility. Communal representation institutionalised for the first timeas reserved legislative seats are allocated for significant minorities. 1920-Gandhi launches a non-violent, non-cooperation movement, or Satyagraha, against the British for a free India. 1922-Twenty-one policemen are killed by Congress supporters at Chauri -Chaura. Gandhi suspends non-cooperation movement and is imprisoned. 1928-Simon Commission, set up to investigate the Indian political environment for future policy-making, fails as all parties boycott it. 1929-Congress calls for full independence.

1930-Dr. Allama Iqbal, a poet-politician, calls for a separate homeland for the Muslims at the Allahabad session of the Muslim League. Gandhi starts Civil Disobedience Movement against the Salt Laws by which the British had a monopoly over production and sale of salt. 1930-31-The Round Table conferences, set up to consider Dominion status for India. They fail because of non-attendance by the Congress and because Gandhi, who does attend, claims he is the only representative of all of India....
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