Partitioning of Inidia and Pakistan?
Was the partitioning of India and Pakistan a good idea or not? Why?
I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out which way to lean.
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
The friction between Indian politicians, and particularly between the two Inns of Court barristers Mohandas Gandhi and Muhammad Jinnah, were in no small degree emblematic of the sub-continent as a whole. These charismatic early leaders of the Independence movement soon took divergent paths. Gandhi, hero of the Hindu masses, held to the conviction that his National Congress Party could adequately encompass all communities and religions; that peaceful non-cooperation was the most effective means of ending British rule; and that the future lay in a return to the simplicity of everyday rural life. The Muslim leader Jinnah, Anglophile, modernist and pro-western, was suspicious of Gandhi’s naivety and romanticism. He feared that a successful Congress would lead to a single party state with Hindu interests predominant; and that Gandhi’s passive demonstrations would inevitably degenerate into violence and hold back progress towards a political resolution. The split between Muslim and Hindu and Jinnah’s call for a separatist state of Pakistan seem to have been equally inevitable, rooted in long years of sectarian antagonism.
The chaos that accompanied the British departure from India was certainly fuelled by the inexplicable decision of the the last Viceroy, Lord Louis Mountbatten, to reduce the allotted time for withdrawal from one year to ten weeks, and to hold back the announcement of the boundary lines for Partition until after independence. And certainly the boundaries themselves, drawn with little knowledge or regard for the distribution of communities on the ground, added fuel to the conflict between Moslems, Sikhs and Hindus.
Doubtless Mountbatten’s precipitate exit (and his antipathy towards Jinnah) exacerbated a deteriorating situation. But it seems equally likely that a more relaxed timescale would simply have provided an arena for more pre-Partition violence, with the final outcome pretty much unchanged.
'Shameful Flight: The Last Years of the British Empire in India' by Stanley Wolpert is an invaluable and non-partisan examination of the events that led through the first half of the 20th Century towards an estimated one million deaths and laid the ground for the discord that persists down to the present day. Follow the link and scroll down.
- WillLv 71 decade ago
It was a good idea in theory, as trying to form a government with both Hindus and Muslims would have been quite difficult. The problem lay in the the heavy-handed way that it was implemented.
- cp_scipiomLv 71 decade ago
absolutely idiotic idea- changing the potentially most powerful country on earth into a war zone and a nuclear threat area- just so that a bunch of idiot politicians could have special titles