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The Tragic Story Of Partition

One of the most important chapters in the Indian history (and equally so for Pakistan) is the partition of the nation in 1947. This article is a review of the book “The Tragic Story Of Partition” by H V Sheshadri.
  • और देश बट गया (Hindi)
  • વિભાજનની કરુણાંતિકા (Gujarati) 
  • Translated in Gujarati by Nalin Pandya, Kishor Makwana and Bhagirath Desai.
  • Pages: 294, Price: Rs. 90.
  • Published by Sadhana Pustaka Prakashan, Ram Nivas, Baliyakaka Marg, Near Juna Dhorbajar, Kankaria, Ahmedabad - 380028

While writing book-review, I have to be sure that I do not rewrite the same book in detail. So my aim will be brief introduction. At the same time, the information about book should be precise and to the point, so the reader understands the subject and desires to read the said book. I will so that.

On 15-August-1947, India was going to be "Independent" from British rule. What events lead to partition of India in two is the subject of this book. Every patriotic and history loving person must read this book.

The author H V Sheshadri took all the pains to go into the details of this history with reference to Shripati Shasri’s (History professor of Pune) lectures in 1972 at Bengaluru – and – he did not hesitate in taking help of reporter K R Malkani, historian Devendra Swarup and others.

Was the partition of India a must? Answer is big "vents leading to NO". This book describes in details the events leading to partition and tells in the end how "Re-Union” is not impossible.

I will tell this in three parts:
  1. Chronology,
  2. Interpretation and
  3. Reunion.
1. Chronology of event leading to partition:

Freedom Struggle: Hindus and Muslims protested British rule in one voice and started freedom struggle. Here is when British rulers found out the way "DIVIDE AND RULE" policy as the only way out for the continuation of the rule. So they promoted Muslims and gave them a free gift of land captured from Hindus during the said war. (40)

1. Indian National Congress was formed by British Hume for support of British rule. The purpose told was social and political reforms.
2. Christianity: British sent missionaries for conversion of poor, backward, forest residents and Harijans who supported British after conversion to Christianity.
3. English education and forming elite class: Lord Mackole gave special teachings of English to qualify Indians. The ‘English knowing’ new class of people was formed who separated themselves from other Indians to believe them 'elite' class – superior to others. They unknowingly united themselves with English people and supported them.

Anglo-Oriental-Defense Association: Theodor Beck (Principal of Aligarh College) formed this association for Muslims right protection and for getting support to British rule from Muslims.

Indian National Congress at Lucknow annual meeting gave special attractions to Muslims like free tickets for conference, free food, free Muslim traditional dress and Rs. 10 daily allowance at conference to get their support against British and make them loyal to Congress.

Division of Bengal: Viceroy Lord Courzan declared division of Bengal for making it Muslims heaven known as Dar-ul-Islam. (46)

1. Viceroy Lord Minto encouraged Muslims against Hindus with the help of Nawab Mohsin-Ul-Mulk of Aligarh.
2. Monte-Minto Law for separate voters council for Muslims and Sikhs to divide them from Hindus. (51)
3. 30-December-1906 Muslim league formed at All Muslim conference held at Dhaka under leadership of Nawab Salimulla Khan and declared Aga Khan as permanent Chairman.

Congress-Muslim league pact on giving separate voting right on the basis of religion to Muslim and Sikh. (71)

Khilafat Movement telling Khalifa of Turkistan as the Sultan representing Allah and considered head of Islamic world.
Gandhiji agreed to support Khilafat movement and congress followed. (76)

Keralite Muslims doing Mopala agitation telling "Jihad" killed 2266 people, wounded 1615, converted 20,000 Hindus to Islam and looted property worth 3 Crore rupees. (84)

Indian National Conference annual meeting accepted under leadership of Chitaranjan Das accepted that Hindu-Muslim unity is impossible.

Gandhiji supported Muslims for their nature of being attacker and criticized Hindus for their so called inherent cowardness.

British Prime Minister MacDonald declared "Religious decision" for giving reservation on religion base and separate voters council for Muslims, Sikhs, Dalits, Christians, Europeans and Anglo-Indian showing their "DIVIDE and RULE" policy. (114)

Word Pakistan was coined telling: P=Punjab, A=Afghanistan, K=Kashmir, S=Sindh and Tan=Baluchistan

Kripps Mission offered conditional and partial Independence with minority having "veto" for saying "NO". It failed.
British-Muslim league and communist axis established. (164)

3-March-1943: Demand for Pakistan put forward in the assembly of Sindh.
Sindh assembly gave slogan "Buy from Muslims only”.
Sindh assembly banned Aryasamaji book Satya Prakash – 14. (166)

9-September-1944: After 19 days dialogue between Gandhiji and Mohmad Ali Jinah, Gandhiji surrendered to him. (170)

16-August-1946 Direction Action Day. Calcutta Muslim League, Chief Minister Suharawardi and Mayor Sharif Khan called "Jihad" and "Leke Rahenge Hindustan" killing 17000, wounding 15000 and making 1 lac homeless Hindus.

3-June-1947: Declaration. British Government, Indian National Congress and Muslim League agreed and declared partition of India. (212)

2. Interpretation and Lesson:

Why partition of India took place?
  1. British Government's “Divide and Rule” policy.
  2. Muslim League leaders' fighting and religious policy (particularly of Aga Khan and Mohmad-Ali-Jinah).
  3. Indian National Congress' wrong politics and surrender (Mahatma Gandhiji and Rajaji in particular).
Gandhiji told people in general are in favour of partition of India. This was not based on truth or facts. Actually majority of Hindus and Muslims were against partition and were actively opposing it, but he opted to ignore. (213)

Indian National Congress, not only agreed to partition but it did not oppose on any point put forward. (213)

Neither British nor Muslim League was strong enough to force Congress to accept partition.
Simply, if Congress would have stuck to demand of "United India", nobody could have succeeded. (257)

This is the most important interpretation...
The only reason for partition was Congress – few Congress leaders who were old, tired, not ready to fight any more and having political desire of getting power at the earliest. All this made them accept partition without much protest and fight. (274)

This demands youth to join politics, instead of living it in the hands of tired, frustrated and idle old.

3. Can India, Pakistan and Bangladesh unite again? (276)

Answer is big "YES".

Examples in the History of all the divided nations trying and on the way to success are following:
  1. North and South Korea
  2. Vietnam
  3. East and West Germany
  4. Ulster and Ireland
  1. Army and Defense expense of all three is high.
  2. Trade and Commerce demands unity for progress (Common market of Europe is the best example to follow).
  3. All three are complimentary to one-another if united.
  4. Many blood relations are divided in three countries making meeting difficult or say nearly impossible.
  5. People of all three countries desire to unite. They know it is the dirty world politics of America and such other countries that does not allow unity.
Well, all we need is intense and sincere desire leading to try for union.


  1. India and Hindus in particular are suffering because of the power greedy congress and the wrong and appeasing policies of the person called Gandhi


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