Partition of India – How and Why

Formulated at the initiative of Clement Richard Attlee (PM 1945-1951), Cabinet Mission of 1946 aimed at transfer of power from the British Government to the Indian leadership, with the aim of preserving India’s unity and granting it independence. The British wanted to keep India and its Army united, so as to keep it in their system of imperial defence even after granting it independence.

The plan was:
1. The Muslim-majority provinces would be grouped, with Sindh, Punjab, Baluchistan and North West Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) forming Group-1-a, and Bengal and Assam would form Group-1-b.
2. The Hindu-majority provinces in central and southern India would form Group-2.
3. The central government, stationed in Delhi, would be empowered to handle nationwide affairs, such as defence, currency and diplomacy, and the rest of powers and responsibility would belong to the provinces, coordinated by groups.
4. Independent states to decide their future according to will of their people. States where Muslim majority was over 70% were (a) Jammu Kashmir (including Jammu, Kashmir, Poonch, Baltistan, Gilgit, Astor, Laddakh, Bhaderwah and Chenani) in the North-West India. (b) Hyderabad and Sikanderabad in South India

Elections to assembly in India were held during 1945 -1946 in which Muslim League won 30 out of 30 seats of Muslim majority areas getting 90% votes while Gongress won 57 out of 60 seats reserved. In Provincial assemblies Muslim League won 54 out of 66 seats in Upper Province, 13 out of 14 in Central Province, 4 out of 4 in Urissa, 30 out of 30 in Bombay (now Mumbai), 33 out of 34 in Assam, 33 out of 40 in Behar. In developed areas of Upper Province. Congress, which claimed to be a secular party, was able to secure less than 1% votes of Muslims.
Muslim League had one word manifesto of “Pakistan”

The Viscount Mountbatten of Burma was appointed Viceroy of India on February 21, 1947.
The first man Lord Mountbatten met after arrival was Hindu Raja of Bikaneer and the second Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru whom he asked about Mr Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Nehru informed him,
“Mr Jinnah entered politics very late. Earlier he was of no significance. Lord Wavell (Viceroy 1943 to Feb 20, 1947) committed a big mistake of making Muslim League part of the cabinet. Muslim League creates obstacles in the work of national interest.” Later, on advice of Mr Nehru, Lord Mountbatten appointed as his advisor Vengalil Krishnan Krishna Menon, *a stanch Hindu member of Congress*.
Chief Minister of Assam, Gopi Chand wrote to high command of Gongress, “Rama O Rama! whole of Bengal, Assam, Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, Frontier Province will become invincible castle of Islam.” His words were: ”رام اے رام ۔ يہ تو ايک ناقابل تسخير اسلامی قلعہ بن گيا ۔ پورا بنگال ۔ آسام ۔ پنجاب ۔ سندھ ۔ بلوچستان ۔ صوبہ سرحد”۔
During next meeting to assess progress on Cabinet Mission Plan, Nehru sabotaging the plan announced, “Congress is not bound by any condition and may change the Plan at the time of forming the cabinet of India”.

Mr Jinnah was a shrewd person. He presented the formula of Independent Pakistan.

On advice of Mr Krishna Menan, in complete disregard of the joint agreement of division on the basis of provinces, Lord Mountbatten announced on June 3, 1947 the Partition Plan on basis of districts.

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