India gained its independence from Britain on the 15th of August, 1946 but then was previously faced with another issue. Partition. Muslims and Hindus wanted to be separated into their own countries, but what impacts would this have economically and socially? I will answer this question, analyzing both aspects, throughout this essay. This essay is based on books and articles I have read as well as interviews from my family members and detailed research through the internet.
One source I mainly used was a book by Gyanesh Kudaisya and Tai Yong Tan: The Aftermath of Partition in South Asia, which gave me a good idea of the aspects that were mostly impacted by the partition and how I should format this essay properly to thoroughly answer my question. Another book that greatly helped me was, The Economic Consequences of Divided India: a study of the economy of India and Pakistan, by Chandulal Nagindas Vakil. This book helped me answer the question of economy more detailed. I also interviewed my grandma, which gave me more of a cultural feel on how to answer this question.
Towards the end of Britain’s 190 year rule over India, unavoidable issues began rising. These issues would be the reasons of Independence from Britain. Once the British began to see that their reign is coming to its end, they decided that they would first split the Hindus and Muslims before allowing India to gain its independence. So rose the issue of Partition. Though Hindus and Muslims had once lived peacefully together as brothers, that was soon changed and the notion of partition spread like a deadly virus. Muslims wanted to return to the previous days when India was under the Mughal Empire, which was the Muslim rule.
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They could not bear the idea of Hindus becoming more powerful or even equal to them. They also “…refused to learn English and to associate with the British…,” but once they saw “…that the Hindus were now in better positions in government…,” they knew that they had to put these differences between the British aside for now (Keen). Hindus were the same way, in the matter that they could not see Muslims ruling over them once again even though it might not be directly ruling but rather in higher authorities. Also, political leaders Jawaharal Nehru and Mohammad Jinnah were in a fit about who shall be the Prime
Minister of India. This task of deciding was giving to Gandhi because of the high amount of respect everyone had for him. Choosing either one could lead to major controversies as well as violence because Nehru was Hindu and Jinnah was Muslim. After much contemplation Gandhi decided that they will divide India so that Jinnah could control the Pakistani Congress and Nehru the Hindustani Congress. Violence ensued and overnight people left their houses in a hurry to avoid being robbed, raped and killed. The social aftermath of the partition includes the civilians and their society.
During this extreme upheaval and “…movement of some 12 million people, uprooted, ordered out, or fleeing their homes and seeking safety. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed, thousands of children disappeared, thousands of women were raped or abducted,” (english. emory. edu, Economist). Each religion were trying to reach the “…regions where their ancestors were from,” and like this “15 million refugees poured across the borders to regions completely foreign to them,” (Keen). Families were separated, uprooted and all in all destroyed. Other social impacts were that of simply talking to one another in society.
Hindus would not talk to Muslims and vice versa. They mercilessly killed each other out of senseless rage of their differences. An example of this senselessness was when Gandhi was shot by a Hindu. Gandhi was also Hindu. Then why did this fellow Hindu kill Gandhi, a man of such high virtues and a major cause for independence? A man that was never a supporter of violence but in the end died of violence from his fellow Hindu? The cause was simply that “the Hindu detested Gandhi’s tolerance towards Muslims,” (Trueman). This caused an already unraveling society to unravel the last of its binding seams.
It was literally rare to see a Hindu and Muslim together in a time of such anger and hate. There was nothing safe about this time and it was considered a blessing to come out alive even if in the poorest of conditions. The partition not only had an immense impact on the social aspect of the society but also on the economic aspect. Impacts included a decrease in confidence in enterprising and there was “an atmosphere of uncertainity and suspense,” (Anand). Investors and business men didn’t know if their shop would be burnt down the next day or if they were putting themselves and their family in danger by making themselves known.
It also caused a “gap in demand, for products like cotton textile, glass, aluminium, vegetable oils, rubber goods, foot wear…,” (Anand). Also shortages of raw matierals were experienced in industries such as the “paper,leather tanning and some chemical industries,” (Anand). Another impact of the partition was that many of our skilled laborers were forced out of the country into the country of their ancestors. The partition of India was done in unnecessary rage over religion, society and a fight with the past that they could not let go.
This partition broke the country into two parts so opposite from each other and whose hatred has not yet simmered down after all these years. This partition left so many scars on both the lands both socially and economically though the social impacts being more lasting and greater than the economic. These social impacts have remained though not as intense or violent as in 1947 but they have not yet gone and might never end but the economic issues listed previously have been dealt and handled and now India is a major rising power in the world.
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What Were the Social and Political Impacts of the Partition of India and Pakistan?. (2017, May 01). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/social-political-impacts-partition-india-pakistan/
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