Friday, November 25, 2005

History: The Partition of India

The Partition of India in 1947 still evokes much bitterness today. A common theme is to blame the Indian National Congress, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi for the Partition, in that they somehow mishandled Jinnah and the Muslim League. If only they had yielded to some of Jinnah's demands or not let bad personal chemistry intervene or whatever. In particular, Nehru is commonly blamed for the failure of the Cabinet Mission plan, which on the surface would have allowed for a united India. However, these assertions, to my mind, can be decisively proven to be wrong, based on the written record.

Excerpts from the original documents are available, and they show that the Cabinet Mission Plan provided for Pakistan within ten years or less, and with Hindu majority provinces locked into Pakistan. Nehru was right to reject this provision of provinces being locked in; and Jinnah ended up with his "moth-eaten" Pakistan.