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Partition of the Indian Subcontinent in the Current Political Context

A law student trying to learn from daily life experience and sharing my experience and opinions with random people on the internet.

how-justifiable-partition-of-the-indian-subcontinent-is-in-the-current-political-context

We are going to discuss the most notable partition in the history of the world. The consequences of the partition, the options available before the partition, some unanswered questions, and some predictions that were made before the partition of the Indian Subcontinent.

One of the most significant questions in this context is:

‘‘Was partition of Indian-Subcontinent just and did we need partition?”

British left India

When the British decided to leave India, there was a problem with the transfer of power. Hindus had the majority so they were the first and favored candidate to get the political power. Muslims had valid concerns about their future. They were going to be dependent on Hindu’s mercy if the power was to be presented to Hindus. Therefore, partition was the only solution as Quaid after turning down the Cabinet mission plan and in a statement on 22 May 1946 said, “Pakistan is the only solution to the constitutional problems of India” (Ahmad, The Nation’s Voice: Deadlock, Frustration and Riots, Vol. V , 2001)

how-justifiable-partition-of-the-indian-subcontinent-is-in-the-current-political-context

Mass Migration

Partition completely changed the fate of millions of people living there. It resulted in the creation of an Islamic state for the Muslims as demanded by their political party and secular state for Hindus and all the minorities opted for living there including Muslims. The announcement of the partition by both the representatives of the Muslim League and Congress created confusion and chaos among the people. Mass migration of 12-15 million people was unconventional and resulted in the abduction of 75,000 and deaths of about a million people.

how-justifiable-partition-of-the-indian-subcontinent-is-in-the-current-political-context

Unjust Partition

Now a glance at the unjust partition or the bloodiest treachery in history. Since the formation of the first Muslim state in 1206, Hindus and Muslims have been living in the same place for centuries without any cultural or religious discrimination. This span of symbiotic relationship continued till the creation of a separate Muslim state named Pakistan. Sir Cyril Radcliffe, the chairman of the boundary commissions did everything to damage the Muslims of the Sub-Continent. By giving many Muslim majority areas to India based on biased factors and finally giving Gurdaspur to India where Muslim’s constituted 52% was the last nail in the coffin of the new Muslim state to create a linkage between Muslim majority areas of Jammu and Kashmir which is the worst example of the injustice. Ghazanfar Ali Khan called the Awards “disgusting and unfair” and said that the decision might “not persuade Pakistan to remain in the Commonwealth (The Pakistan Times, 1947). Kashmir was an independent state with a Muslim majority. Their Hindu Raja wanted to affiliate with India but Kashmiri people wanted to affiliate with Pakistan. This erupted civil war in Kashmir and escalated to the Indo-Pak war. Pakistan supported Kashmiris as it was their right to affiliate freely. Under these circumstances, Kashmiri Raja signed an agreement with India. The war of 1947 ended with a ceasefire due to the mediation of the UN. Since then this issue is unresolved.

how-justifiable-partition-of-the-indian-subcontinent-is-in-the-current-political-context

Indian Muslims

Surely partition was the only viable option for all the problems. Muslims living in Pakistan have complete political representation and freedom of speech. They practice their rights without any objection and fear. Also, the minorities in Pakistan have the freedom of practicing their religious activities without any objection and have their quota of representation in all fields. While in India, minorities are still struggling to get their basic rights and have fair representation. Their voices have been suppressed, they were abducted and murdered. There are many stories of Muslims that were brutally massacred by the extremist Hindu mobs for speaking for their rights and religious freedom. Also after all these centuries, the dispute of slaughtering cows is still there and is a cause of many killings.

how-justifiable-partition-of-the-indian-subcontinent-is-in-the-current-political-context

BJP Agenda

The condition of Indian Muslims has been worsened during the tenure of the BJP of Narinder Modi. BJP is the right-wing party closely related to extremist RSS. RSS has the idea of upholding Indian culture and spread of Hindutva ideology that shows the strengthening of the Hindu community. (Ashraf, 2020). RSS has been involved in killing 20,000-100,000 Muslims. In his speech, the RSS leader boasted of killing 2000 Muslims and warned that Hindus are not sleeping. (RSS leader boasts killing 2,000 Muslims in Gujarat, calls for beheading Kerala's CM, 2017).

how-justifiable-partition-of-the-indian-subcontinent-is-in-the-current-political-context

Kashmir Issue

Recently, Citizenship (Amendment), Act, 2019 was passed by the parliament of India on 11 December 2019 which revised the Citizenship Act, 1955 by providing a way for oppressed religious minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh who are Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains that arrived in India before December 2014 (Parliament passes the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill , 2019). The Law doesn’t allow Muslims from these Muslim-majority countries. (Gringlas, 2019). This was the first time that the religion of people was used as a criterion for getting citizenship under Indian law and this act was criticized globally by politicians and media. (Jayal, 2019). This is the largest discrimination based on religion. This will not only affect the 1.9 million people but will equally affect their families too. Muslims all over India held peaceful protests against this unjust Indian citizenship act but it resulted in multiple bloodsheds of innocent Muslims by extremist Hindu mobs. The most prominent of those brutal killings were the Delhi Riots 2020 began in North East Delhi which resulted in injuries of 200+ and deaths of 53 including 36 Muslims.

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Kashmir under India had the right to make its constitution, own flag and didn’t allow Indian citizens to buy and own property in Kashmir under article 370 and Kashmir had a special status under article 35a of the Indian constitution. But in 2019 Indian government abolished both 370 and 35a acts. This erupted countrywide protest and was then followed by a complete curfew in Jammu & Kashmir and the issue is still unresolved.

how-justifiable-partition-of-the-indian-subcontinent-is-in-the-current-political-context

Adverse effects of Partition

Partition had some adverse effects. It created misery for Kashmiris who are struggling for more than 70 years for their independence, for their basic human rights. Also, the Muslim minority in India that are left behind are suffering every day at the hands of Hindu extremists. We have got a separate homeland for us as we wanted but our Muslim brothers having a population more than we are still suffering from the same problems.

The situation of Kashmir and the situations of the Muslim minority struggling for their rights every day from unjust and the fascist government of India is the biggest proof why Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent badly needed Pakistan and it was the only solution for all the problems and conflicts at that time. This proves all the claims of the Muslim League about the need for a separate Muslim country correct. “Muslims who are opposing Pakistan will spend the remainder of their lives proving their loyalty to India,” Jinnah once said in 1945 (Hamza, 2019)

Bibliography


(1947, August 19). The Pakistan Times, p. 1.

Ahmad, W. (2001). The Nation’s Voice: Deadlock, Frustration, and Riots, Vol. V . Karachi: Quaideazam Academy.

Ashraf, M. M. (2020, September 11). The Nation. The genesis of RSS ideology.

Gringlas, S. (2019, December 11). India passes a controversial Citizenship Act that would exclude Muslims. Retrieved from NPR.

Hamza, D. M. (2019, December 23). Far vs. short-sightedness. The Nation.

Hasan, K. (1998, April 14). The News International. The Quaid's Detractor.

Jayal, N. G. (2019). Reconfiguring Citizenship in Contemporary India. South Asia: Journal of South Asian studies, 42.

Parliament passes the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. (2019, December 11). Retrieved from Press Information Bureau Government of India.

RSS leader boasts killing 2,000 Muslims in Gujarat, calls for beheading Kerala's CM. (2017, March 3). The Express Tribune.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Ali Aqdas

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