Analyse the various events that led to the partition of British India.
There occurred a number of events which resulted in the partition of British India whether indirectly or directly:
(A) Politicisation of Religion:
Politicisation of religion began with distinctive electorate in 1909 which was further strengthened by India’s colonial government in the year 1919. Thus, communal riots occurred and deepened the difference existing between communities.
(B) Provincial elections of 1973 in addition to the Congress ministries:
In the year 1973, for the initial time, provincial elections took place in which Congress won with a majority. In United Provinces, the Muslim League desired to form government with the Congress but the latter rejected this India since it possessed absolute majority. The League started to believe that as minorities, they would not receive political power. Furthermore, it also believed that only Muslim parties can represent Muslim while Congress is a Hindu party. Growth of Hindu Mahasabha as well as the RSS also played a crucial role in widening the difference existing between Muslims and Hindus.
(C) The Pakistan Resolution:
On March 23, 1940, the Muslim League passed one resolution that demanded a measure of autonomy for the Muslim majority regions of the sub-continent. It never mentioned a separate state or partition. The initial demand of Pakistan was instead made by Mohammad Iqbal, the Urdu poet.
(D) Post-War Development:
In the year 1946, provincial elections were held again in which the Congress swept general constituencies while the League succeeded in gaining larger majority of Muslim vote. Hence, in 1946, the League established itself as one dominant party among the Muslims.
(E) A Plausible Alternative to Partition:
In March 1946, India witnessed Cabinet Mission that came in order to form an appropriate political framework for India. But both Congress and the Muslim League did not agree to its proposal and any subsequent talked failed. The congress sensed after this failure that partition had, thus, become inevitable and took it as tragic yet unavoidable.
(F) Towards Partition:
Following the withdrawal from Cabinet Mission, the Muslim League formed a decision on direct action for winning its ‘Pakistan’ demand for which it announced August 16, 1946 as ‘direct action day’. In March 1947, the Congress accepted this partition.