Nationalism and Partition of India-Pakistan

Indian Nationalism Grows
World War l was a large nationalism booster for Indian citizens. What sparked the nationalism was when Britain enlisted Indian citizens into World War l without consulting India first. After the war, India hoped to gain independence from Britain because India helped in the war. This was not the case and enraged Indian people. Indian people were participating in acts of violence out of anger towards Britain. To prevent huge outbreaks Britain passed the Rowlatt Acts. "These allowed the government to jail Indian protesters without trial for up to two years."(Beck 453) This reduced the amount of riots by putting fear into the citizens.

British firing into a crowd of Indians at Amritsar
British firing into a crowd of Indians at Amritsar

Indians were still lusting for independence. "In 1919 Hindus and Muslims gathered at the city of Amritsar to protest the Rowlatt Acts."(Beck 456) They gathered to pray and fast. This shocked Britain and they saw it as a threat. A British officer in Amritsar told his men to open fire on the crowd for 10 minutes. This massacre made Indian people even more mad at Britain. India was now even more determined to gain independence from Britain.

Gandhi's Tactics of Nonviolence

Mohandas K. Gandhi was a religious leader of India. His time was from 1869-1948. Gandhi was a pacifist, peaceful man, and he was the leader of the independence movement. Gandhi was the of an organization which advocated self-rule called the Indian National Congress. Gandhi pushed the Indian Nation Congress to follow a policy in which they would not cooperate with the British Government. (Robert S. Robins 144-146)

One of Gandhi's big ideas that he demonstrated was civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is the deliberate and public refusal to obey unjust laws. These refusals can be by an individual, or in most cases in which Gandhi led, large groups of people. They can be symbolic, for example, the case of fasts, vigils, and burning of official documents. Or they may also be substantial, like boycotts, strikes, or marches, like the Salt March. The substantial types were the ones that Gandhi focused his demonstrations on the most. (Anthony Parel 352-355)

The most famous Satyagraha that Gandhi lead on March 12, 1930 was the Salt March. Gandhi led his followers on a 240 mile anti-salt tax march south from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi beach. During this march they collected their own salt by getting saltwater and letting the salt evaporate. The British would beat they protesters even when they would not retaliate violently, and by the end
of the year, all the jail cells in India were filled with more than 60,000 Satyagrahis, and also included Gandhi himself. (Stanley Wolpert 119-125)
Gandhi leading the Salt March

Britain Grants Limited Self-Rule

The British parliament passed the Government of India act in 1935. The government of India act started changes that were very significant in the colonial administration of India and created the future constitutions of the newly independent countries of India and Pakistan in 1947. Said act provided local self-government and limited democratic elections, but did not provide total independence. As a result, the Government act of India shifted the focus of India's government to this day. (Arnold P. Kamisnky 157-158)

Muslims, Sikhs, and Dalits ("Untouchables") argued for separate representations, but Gandhi stated that congress represented all Indians and he especially amplified it to the untouchables, or Hindus. Tensions between the Muslims and Hindus were fueled by the Government of India act. The source being was that The Muslims had less people than the Hindus had and they then believed that the Hindus would rule India when they gained their independence. (Arnold P. Kamisnky 157-158)

A Movement Toward Independence

Striding for independence didn't stop there, the British only intensified it."In 1939, Britain declared war on Germany and with British ruling India, they committed India to help them fight the Germans without consulting the colony's elected representatives." (Beck 563). This act did not sit well with Indian nationalists, so Gandhi launched a nonviolent campaign of noncooperation with Britain. After imprisoning some of the nationalists, including Gandhi, the British government promises some changes, although Indian independence was not one of them.

Not only was India struggling to gain their independence, they also struggled amongst themselves. India has two main religions, Hinduism and Muslim. Each religion has it's own congress party. The Hindus were the Indian National Congress , although they some times contained some Muslim members. The INC is is the oldest organization in India." ( Rajakumar 616
A Indian National Congress meeting

The competing party was the Muslim League, which is made up of Muslims and it was an organization to protest the Muslim interest. Members of the Muslim League thought that the Indian National Congress looked out for mainly Hindu interest. Which is why the Muslim League made all of the Muslim in the Indian National Congress resign. The leader was Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and they stated that is would never accept Indian independence if it meant rule by the Hindu-dominated Congress Party.

Freedom Brings Turmoil

Finally, in the summer of 1947, India gained independence from Britain. The British gave them their independence because of their large war depts , so they could not afford to maintain some of their distant colonies. Although there was no agreement on whether Hindus or Muslims should have the power over India in order to have complete independence. "And in trying to come to conclusion, in August of 1946 rioting broke out in Calcutta and 5,000 were killed and 15,000 were injured." (Beck 564).

"In order to make India safe and secure, the British Officials were convinced to use partition." (Beck 564). Partition was to separate Hindu and Muslims nations. So a new nation came about, Pakistan. It is in the northeast and eastern regions of India, and that's where most of the Muslims lived. As for the Hindu's, they stayed in India. The Impact of the partition claimed many lives in riots. Women were especially used as instruments of power by the Hindus and Muslims. "In the newly-born countries,'ghost trains' would arrive filled with women's breasts that were cut off. Today, many question whether if the partition was a good thing." (Keen).

On July 16, 1947, The British House of Commons passed an act that gave India and Pakistan independence in one month. So the 500 native Princes, Muslims, Hindus, and the Sikhs had to decide which nation they would join, India or Pakistan, and only one month to move to their certain nation. Although, the moving was the more difficult part. "10 million people were on the move to their new home, violence with the different religions came about." (Beck 564). The Muslims fought the Sikhs who were moving to India, and Hindus and Sikhs killed Muslims that were going to Pakistan. Overall, the estimation of deaths were 1 million, so Gandhi went to plea for fairness of the Muslims refugees to the Indian capital of Delhi."Sadly, Gandhi's action got him killed by one of his own. Gandhi died on January 30, 1948." (Beck 565).

Ever since the partition came about, there has been a lot of bloodshed. The Battle of Kashmir only caused more. It all started because both the Muslims and Hindus want the land of Kashmir. See, a Hindu, Maharaja Bahadur, ruled Kashmir but most of the population was made up of Muslims. The battle lasted until the United Nations arranged for a cease-fire. Even "Even though the battle ended with 1/3 of Kashmir is under Pakistan's control and the rest is under India's, it is still not settled to this day." (Beck 565).

Modern India

After parting from britain, India instantly became the worlds largest democracy (Beck pg. 565). After gaining there independence Jawaharlal Nebru became India’s first prime minister. Nebru pushed for industrialization and Nuclear programs. He also united over 500 states into the Indian Union(Nanda).
Nebru’s daughter became the first female Prime Minister in 1966. Indira Gandhi faced many challenges. Soon India was fighting against the Pakistanis in the Bangladesh War. There was also a great threat of revolt led by Sikh extremists (Beck pg. 566).

After the war had died down, India had exploded a ‘‘peaceful’’ nuclear device in 1974 (Beck pg. 565). This was to remind Pakastan of what a power India had become (Raja). In retaliation Pakistan was busy building there own nuclear programs (Beck pg. 566). India then conducted five underground nuclear tests in 1998 under there newly elected Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. After major advances in their programs bot India and pakistan had become nuclear powers (Beth pg. 565).

Along with the advances in the nuclear and industrial fields, India is projected to pass the population of india (Beth pg. 566).

Pakistan Copes with Freedom

Before Independence
After India's Civil War

Pakistan was originally two divided states of East and West Pakistan. "They were very different from each other in the fact that they had different culture, language, history, geography, economics, and ethnic backgrounds. The only thing that the two states shared was the Islamic religion."(Beck 567) Fighting all started back in 1970. A tidal wave and cyclone hit Pakistan and West Pakistan was slow when transporting aid to East Pakistan. This was detrimental to East Pakistan. East Pakistan protested because they wanted to become independent. "On March 26, 1971 East Pakistan got what they wanted. They declared themselves an independent nation known as Bangladesh."(Beck 567) A civil war broke out between Pakistan and Bangladesh after they declared independence. India sided with Bangladesh In the war. With the support of India Bangladesh easily won the war. The losses of the war for Pakistan were very large. Pakistan suffered on the home front as well. The governor-general of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, died after Bangladesh’s independence. "This left Pakistan without a good leader. Military coups were occurring, the first starting in 1958. These happened for many years and still are happening even today. Pakistan is still struggling with Muslim militants and ongoing disputes with India."(Beck 568)

Works Cited

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