Analyse any six consequences of the partition of India in 1947.
The year 1947 was the year of one of the largest, most abrupt, unplanned and tragic transfer of population which human history has known.
- There were killings and atrocities on both sides of the border. Cities such as Lahore, Amritsar and Kolkata (Calcutta) became divided into 'communal zones'. Muslims would avoid going into an area where mainly Hindus or Sikhs lived and vice versa.
- Minorities on both sides of the border fled their home and often secured temporary shelter in 'refugee camps'. They travelled to the other side of the new border by all sorts of means, often by foot. Even during this journey, they were often attacked, killed or raped. Thousands of women were abducted on both sides of the border. Often women were killed by their own family members to preserve the 'family honour'. Many children were separated from their parents.
- People who managed to cross the border did not have a place they could call home. For lakhs of these 'refugees', the country's freedom meant life in 'refugee camps' for months and sometimes for years.
- Partition was not merely a division of properties, liabilities and assets, or a political division of the country and the administrative apparatus. Also divided were things such as tables, chairs, typewriters, paper-clips and books.
- Even after large-scale migration of Muslims to the newly created Pakistan, the Muslim population in India accounted for 12% of the total population in 1951. The Partition had already created severe conflict between the two communities.
Above all, it was a violent separation of communities who had hitherto lived together as neighbours for centuries.
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- Legacy of Partition - Challenge of 'Refugee' Resettlement, the Kashmir Problem