The Partition of India

The Partition of India led to the creation on 14 August 1947 and 15 August 1947, respectively, of the sovereign states, Dominion of Pakistan (later Islamic Republic of Pakistan) and Union of India (later Republic of India), upon the granting of independence to British India by the United Kingdom. ‘Partition’ here refers not only to the division of the Bengal province of British India into the Pakistani state of East Bengal (later East Pakistan, now Bangladesh) and the Indian state of West Bengal, as well as the similar partition of the Punjab region of British India into the Punjab province of West Pakistan and the Indian state of Punjab, but also to the division of the British Indian Army, the Indian Civil Service and other administrative services, the railways, and the central treasury, and other assets.

East Bengal celebrates its freedom from British colonial rule as it becomes a province of Pakistan. West Bengal remains with India, which celebrates its own independence the following day.

A mass exodus ensues, especially in Punjab, where Hindus and Muslims feel forced into territories awarded to India and Pakistan, respectively. Communal violence erupts among people uprooted and displaced by a political decision over which they had no control.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the leader of the Muslim League, becomes the Governor General of Pakistan, now a member of the British Commonwealth.

More on Partition of India

* Partition of India and Bengal and Some Myths:

  • Muslims wanted Pakistan as a separate state for Muslims and they voted for it
  • Congress did everything possible to avert partition
  • The Bengal partition was not opposed
  • However each was untrue. Read this for details.

    Source: Uttorshuri, Wikipedia

    2 thoughts on “The Partition of India

    1. Anwar Ahmad Ansari

      The reasons of partion of India – Just one reason.


      I am one of those unfortunate people who endured and survived the rigours of migration from East Panjab to West Panjab. The seven-hour train journey from Ambala to Wagah spread over four days and my mother had been so badly injured that she could die any moment. My mother breathed her last after a few days crossing into Pakistan and was buried in Lahore. People who died in the journey were thrown away to wild animals and we saw our nears and dears being ripped apart by the beasts of prey. Of course this happened on both sides. Muslims in Pakistan were not far behind their Hindu-Sikh counterparts in looting, raping and abductions which I personally found out about a year later in Pakistan.

      However, in all the accounts of causes and reasons of partition that have appeared is not mentioned the only reason because of which the catastrophic partition of India took please. It has not been mentioned anywhere that it was the Muslim League who had first approved the Cabinet Mission Plan to keep India united. The Muslim League approved the Cabinet Mission Plan unanimously. Whereas later, having taken a longer time than did the Muslim League, the Congress also gave its approval, but after a fierce voting.

      That shows that the Muslim League was united on keeping India united. And the Indian National Congress was divided on keeping India united.

      Although quotations from Abul Kalam Azad’s ‘India Wins Freedom’ appear in articles and books on the subject. But, sadly what is not quoted are the passages that show quite clearly what precipitated the partition of India and that the Indian National Congress leadership sacrificed the unity of India over the false prestige of the President of Indian National Congress, i.e. Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru. And Indian National Congress made Jinnah and the Muslim League the scapegoat of their failures. I give below the relevant passages from ‘India Wins Freedom’.

      Abul Kalam Azad giving account of the A.I.C.C.’s passing the resolution to approve the Cabinet Mission Plan, says:

      “My speech had a decisive influence on the audience. When the vote was taken the resolution was passed with an overwhelming majority, thus the seal of approval was put on the Working Committee’s resolution accepting the Cabinet Mission Plan.

      After a few days, I received telegrams of congratulation from Lord Pethick Lawrence and Sir Stafford Cripps. They were happy that the A.I.C.C. had accepted my resolution and congratulated me on my able presentation of the Cabinet Mission Plan.

      “Now happened one of those unfortunate events which changed the course of history. On 10 July, Jawaharlal held a Press Conference in Bombay in which he made a statement which in normal circumstances might have passed almost unnoticed, but in the existing atmosphere of suspicion and hatred, set in train a most unfortunate series of consequences. Some Press representatives asked him whether with the passing of the Resolution by A.I.C.C., the Congress had accepted the Plan in toto, including the composition of the interim Government.

      “Jawaharlal stated in reply that Congress would enter the Constituent Assembly ‘completely unfettered by agreements and free to meet all situations as they arise.’ (Inverted comas of the author)

      “Press representatives further asked if this meant that the Cabinet Mission Plan could be modified.

      “Jawaharlal replied emphatically that the Congress had agreed only to participate in the Constituent Assembly and regarded itself free to change or modify the Cabinet Mission Plan as it thought best.

      “I must place on record that Jawaharlal’s statement was wrong. It was not correct to say that Congress was free to modify the Plan as it pleased. We had in fact agreed that the Central Government would be federal. There would be the compulsory list of three Central subjects while all other subjects remained in the provincial sphere. We had further agreed that there would be the three Sections, viz. A, B and C in which the provinces would be grouped. These matters could not be changed unilaterally by Congress without the consent of other parties to the agreement.

      “The Muslim League had accepted the Cabinet Mission Plan, as this represented the utmost limit to which the British Government would go. In his speech to the League Council, Mr. Jinnah had clearly stated that he recommended acceptance only because nothing better could be obtained.

      “Mr. Jinnah was thus not very happy about the outcome of the negotiations, but he had reconciled himself as there was no alternative. Jawaharlal’s statement came to him as a bombshell. ………………………………………………………………….

      ………………………………………………………………………… Now that the Congress President had declared that the Congress could change the scheme through its majority in the Constituent Assembly, this would mean that the minorities were


      placed at the mercy of the majority. His view was that Jawaharlal’s declaration meant that the Congress had rejected the Cabinet Mission Plan and as such the Viceroy should call upon the Muslim league, which had accepted the Plan, to form the Government.

      “I was extremely perturbed by this new development. I saw that the scheme for which I had worked so hard was being destroyed through our own action. I felt that a meeting of the Working Committee must be held immediately to review the situation. The Working Committee accordingly met on 8 August. I pointed out that if we wanted to save the situation, we must make it clear that the view of the Congress was expressed by the resolution passed by the A.I.C.C. and that no individual, not even the Congress President, could change it.

      The Working Committee felt that it faced a dilemma. On the one side, the prestige of the Congress President was at stake. On the other, the settlement which we had so painfully achieved was in danger. To repudiate the President’s statement would weaken the organization but to give up the Cabinet Mission Plan would ruin the country. Finally, we drafted a Resolution which made no reference to the Press Conference but reaffirmed the decision of the A.I.C.C. in the following terms:

      The Working Committee regret to note that the Council of the All-India Muslim League, reversing their previous decision, had decided not to participate in the Constituent Assembly. In this period of rapid transition from dependence on a foreign power to full independence, when vast and intricate political and economic problems have to be faced and solved, the largest measure of co-operation among the people of India and their representatives is called for, so that the change-over should be smooth and to the advantage of all concerned. The Committee realise that there are differences in the outlook and objectives of the Congress and the Muslim League. Nevertheless, in the larger interest of the ……………………………………………………………………………..

      “We had hoped that this Resolution of the Working Committee would save the situation …………………………………… .. ………………………………………….. Mr. Jinnah did not however accept the position and held that Jawaharlal’s statement represented the real mind of Congress. He argued that if Congress could change so many times, while the British were still in the country and power had not come to its hands, what assurance could the minorities have that once the British left, Congress would not again change and go back to the position taken up in Jawaharlal’s statement?

      “His Excellency the Viceroy, with the approval of His Majesty’s Government, has invited the President of the Congress to take proposals for the immediate formation of an interim Government and the President of the Congress has accepted the invitation. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru will shortly visit New Delhi to discuss this proposal with His Excellency the Viceroy.”

      A few passages further, Abul Kalam Azad says:

      “Jawaharlal is one of my dearest friends and his contribution to India’s national life is second to none. He has worked and suffered for Indian freedom, and since the attainment of independence, he has become the symbol of our national unity and progress. I have nevertheless to say with regret that he is at times apt to be carried away by his feelings. Not only so, but sometimes he is so impressed by theoretical considerations that he is apt to underestimate the realities of a situation.

      “His fondness for abstract theory was responsible for his statement about the Constituent Assembly. The same theoretical bias led him to commit a similar mistake in 1937, when the first elections were held under the Government of India act, 1935. ” (this is about forming the Government of U.P. and Nehru’s refusal to include both Nawab Ismail Khan and Choudhari Khaliquzzaman in the U.P. Government – my words) “Jawaharlal’s mistake in 1937 had been bad enough. The mistake in 1946 proved even more costly.”

      My comments: Lord Wavell, the Viceroy, had earlier declared that whichever party first accepted the plan, would be invited to form the Interim Government. That gutless Viceroy went back on his promise and bypassing Jinnah in blatant deceit invited the he President of the Congress instead to form the Interim Government, who had already repudiated the Cabinet Mission Plan and whose catalogue of mistakes had ruined the unity of India.

      I repeat one passage quoted above.

      “The Working Committee felt that it faced a dilemma. On the one side, the prestige of the Congress President was at stake . On the other, the settlement which we had so painfully achieved was in danger. To repudiate the President’s statement would weaken the organization but to give up the Cabinet Mission Plan would ruin the country. Finally, we drafted a Resolution which made no reference to the Press Conference but reaffirmed the decision of the A.I.C.C. in the following terms. (my emphasis)


      The gutless, supine and myopic leadership of the Indian National Congress could not see woods from the trees and, in all lunacy, went on to pass a resolution which begins unashamedly by shoving all the blame on the Muslim League. They were so blinded by their selfish interest that they could not see the impending catastrophe by not calling a spade a spade and, as Abul Kalam Azad has recorded, completely omitted even the mention of the bone of contention: the notorious 10 July Nehru Press Conference. The imbecile leadership of Indian National Congress came out in full force to cover up the Himalayan blunder of Nehru rather than rectifying it, which blunder according to Azad changed the course of history of India. What a farce! What a farce!!

      The display of lunacy did not stop there. Lord Wawell, in utter insanity, called upon Jawaharlal Nehru, who had repudiated the Cabinet Mission Plan agreement, to form the Interim Government of India. And then all those lunatics, Congress leadership, Wavell and all, went on to blame Mr. Jinnah for the partition. What hypocrisy! What hypocrisy!!

      It is not Jinnah who brought about the partition of India; it is the duo of the gutless, spineless, unashamed Jawaharlal Nehru and the self-opinionated, egoistic Lord Mountbatten (now in control) who brought about the partition and the destruction upon India. These two demagogues, Nehru and Mountbatten, preferred the ruination of the country over the false prestige of the Congress President. (It still remains an enigma that Nehru had earlier gone to Malaysia and met Mountbatten, the Supreme Commander. Mountbatten, a soldier in uniform on active service, then made a momentous political statement of great significance by calling Nehru “the future Prime Minister of India”.)

      Mr. Jinnah at all times bent over backwards to keep India united. Jinnah concluded the Lucknow Pact I, which was destroyed by Motilal Nehru, the father of Jawaharlal, then again Mr. Jinnah concluded Lucknow Pact II, which was destroyed by Jawaharlal Nehru, then in 1937 Mr. Jinnah threw his weight behind fighting for the independence together with Indian National Congress by way of joining the government in U.P. which was spurned by Jawaharlal Nehru, as recorded by Maulana Azad, and then the1946 disastrous blunder committed by Jawaharlal Nehru.

      I am not a fan of Jinnah but I can say it on my life that Jinnah has been honest every single moment of his life. No power on earth could move him away from truth and he would not entertain an expediency that contained a minutest deviation from truth. His self-interest has always been to uphold the truth at all times under all circumstances. Mr. Jinnah was always immaculately dressed. So was his conscience: always immaculately clean of bias, prejudice and falsehood. Whatever he did or said was always clear, manifest and self-evident. And that was also the hall-mark of his legal practice.

      To blame Mr. Jinnah for the calamity of partition of India and all the destruction that came in its wake is grossly unjust, false and the ugliest dishonesty of history.

      Going by the account of events given by Maulana Azad what, according to him, changed the course of history, there is only one single reason of the disastrous partition of India: The senseless and downright dishonest display of Nehru’s obnoxious & foul diplomacy at the time!!! And the Indian National Congress going along with it.

      Thus, united India was sacrificed at the alter of false prestige of the President of Indian National Congress.

      History should record it. And I note it with utter dismay that it is omitted all over to record this heinous crime in history committed by the Indian National Congress under the overall lordship of Lord Mountbatten.

      It is just to put the record straight.

      Anwar Ahmad Ansari, Harrow, Middlesex, England.


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