How a British royals monumental errors made Indias partition more pain

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Information about How a British royals monumental errors made Indias partition more pain

Published on November 12, 2018

Author: foreignpolicy


slide 1: How a British royals monumental errors made Indias partition more painful Lord Louis Mountbatten viceroy of India met with Indian leaders to discuss partition. The midnight between August 14 and 15 1947 was one of history’s truly momentous moments: It marked the birth of Pakistan an independent India and the beginning of the end of an era of colonialism. It was hardly a joyous moment: A botched process of partition saw the slaughter of more than a million people some 15 million were displaced. Untold numbers were maimed mutilated dismembered and disfigured. Countless lives were scarred. For more information visit: Two hundred years of British rule in India ended as Winston Churchill had feared in a “shameful flight” a “premature hurried scuttle” that triggered a most tragic and terrifying carnage. The bloodbath of partition also left the two nations that were borne out of it – India and Pakistan – deeply scarred by anguish angst alienation and animus. By 1947 the political social societal and religious complexities of the Indian subcontinent may have made partition inevitable but the murderous mayhem that ensued was not. As a South Asian whose life was affected directly by partition and as a scholar it is evident to me that the one man whose job it was above all else to avoid the mayhem ended up inflaming the conditions that made partition the horror it became. That man was Lord Louis Mountbatten the last Viceroy of British India. slide 2: How did Mountbatten contribute to the legacy of hatred that still 70 years later informs the bitter relationship between India and Pakistan A murderous orgy People crowd onto a train as mass displacement happens during partition. Let us begin by recognizing the scale of barbarity that was unleashed by the mishandling of partition. No one has captured this more poignantly than Urdu’s most prominent short story writer Saadat Hasan Manto who according to his grandniece and eminent historian Ayesha Jalal “marveled at the stern calmness with which the British had rent asunder the subcontinent’s unity at the moment of decolonization.”

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