“At the stroke of the midnight hour when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom…” The traumatic story of partition and the celebratory occasion of independence come along but the former is usually forgotten. Amidst the elation of Independence day’s celebration, the cries of partition are often foreshadowed. Although, partition has favored many like ICC and TRP hungry news channels “If Pakistan hadn’t been there, had you still been patriotic?” Never thought about it? How would it have been if partition hadn’t happened. Partition wasn’t a random decision taken out of haste during the independence movement. It was an outcome of the divide and rule politics of the British. Reminiscing partition is often ignored while commemorating independence. We often forget that the independence we demanded for 100 years came at a cost of an year full of blood-bath and war in the name of religion. And that civil war led to the tense relationship between India and Pakistan that persists even today. India and Pakistan have been involved in four wars since partition; gun fires are quite normal and the situation at borders is always tense. Partition is considered as the greatest mass migration in modern human history. Over 14 million people were relocated. Around 1 million people lost their lives due to partition. And these are only the official estimated figures, the actual count is still unknown. On the occasion of 73rd Independence day, we shall not only celebrate our democracy but remember all those who have faced the atrocities of partition. Certainly, 15th August marks the day of freedom for India but it also raises questions on the extent of freedom we experience today. This freedom is not just about the freedom the government has to offer but the freedom we need to give ourselves as individuals; It means the freedom from our conservative beliefs, freedom from religious and caste biases, and most importantly, freedom from political manipulation. The divide and rule game of the British has been taken upon by our own politicians. Had we remembered partition, we would have realized that division is never beneficial for anybody except for the politicians. The seeds of partition had been sown in 1905. Lord Curzon had divided Bengal into three on the basis of religion and formed East Bengal and Assam with Muslim majority and Bengal with Hindu majority. This was the first time India was divided on the basis of religion by the British. This had led to several protests against the division. Finally, Bengal was reunited in 1911 and was again divided on linguistic grounds. “What do you think I am?” The Muslims of the region thought that this division would bring them independent status and hence they supported it. So when Bengal was reunited, their hopes were shattered. Now, the demand for separate electorates for Hindus and Muslims had started to resonate all over the country. Indian National Congress and All India Muslim League were the two most important parties then. In 1916, these two rival parties signed the Lucknow pact and came together to demand self rule from the British. Although, the two parties decided to fight together for the independence of the country, they still had their individual agendas which subsequently led to partition. So what made these parties, who were together against the British, separate and fight against each other? During World War 1 in 1919, England needed help from India, Indians demanded their independence in return. “Freedom, freedom.” The British came up with Government of India Act 1919, which proposed provincial autonomy for the country. This act was again passed in 1935 when India held its first provincial elections. The Indian National Congress had won most seats in those elections. Congress had won 707 seats while Muslim League won 106 seats. This made Jinnah insecure about his position in Independent India but let’s discuss that later. At those times, no one had even thought of partition. The term ‘Pak-Stan’ had been coined by Chaudhary Rehmat Ali, founder of the Pakistan National Movement in 1930. The turning point of this story is considered to be in 1932 when minorities demanded the Communal Award. Under this, it was asked to form separate electorates for minorities. When Gandhi rejected any such award, minorities started to feel insecure. Mohammad Ali Jinnah also felt fear for the future of Muslims in India. England again needed India’s help during World war 2 in 1939 and Indians again demanded independence in return. “Freedom, freedom.” The British brought another plan called Cripps Mission in 1942. This mission was supposed to provide autonomy to the country but not complete freedom from British rule. It proposed dominion status for the Indian Union but the post of governor-general was to remain intact. The princely states were allowed to have a separate constitution and form a separate Union. The power given in the defense department were limited and there was no mention of complete transfer of power to India. This mission was rejected by all three stakeholders, the Indian National Congress, Muslim League and Britain’s then Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. So the Cripps Mission failed drastically. The major reason behind the rejection of this mission by both, Hindus and Muslims, was that it only proposed semi-independence. This suggests that both the communities were determined to fight for total independence from the British. So what led to partition then? As we mentioned, the rejection of Communal Award created differences among various minority and majority groups in India. Hindus were the most developed community at those times, they were highly educated and held most government jobs. There were many religious biases prevalent in the society. The divide and rule policy of the British also played a major role. The British introduced another plan in 1946 called the Cabinet Mission Plan. This plan aimed at dividing India into three autonomous groups. Group A consisted of Madras, Central provinces, Orissa, UP, Bihar, Bombay, Group B consisted of Punjab, Sindh and North-East frontier provinces. And Group C consisted of Bengal and Assam. These groups were to maintain their own constitution and enact their own laws. This plan may not have led to the formation of Pakistan but division on the basis of religion couldn’t be avoided. Muslim league supported the plan to its fullest but the plan couldn’t be executed because of Jawahar Lal Nehru. “Pandit Nehru” Being a socialist, Nehru didn’t support the plan at all. Congress never accepted the bill. The problem with the plan was that the Central government was left with very little or no power over the groups formed. Each group was supposed to have its own constitution and the power of central government over these groups were limited. Jinnah launched Direct Action Day in response. He called for Muslims all over the country and asked them to suspend their businesses and come together to demand a separate nation. He proclaimed that we shall either have a divided India or a destroyed India. This led to massive communal riots and killings in Bengal. This day is known as the Great Calcutta Killings and the painful memories of that day are still alive. This had made it clear that partition was inevitable. On 20th February, 1947, Clement Attlee announced that the British rule would end before June 1948. India and Pakistan had time of about a year to negotiate and arrange for the partition. But in June 1947, Lord Mountbatten decided that the power would be transferred 10 months before than expected. Cyril Radcliffe was called from England to draw the borders for India and Pakistan. Cyril Radcliffe had never been to India before, nor did he know anything about the cultural, regional and linguistic diversity of India. Radcliffe was given five weeks to do the job. It took until two days after partition for the borders of Pakistan to be drawn and established. This had created a lot of chaos and as usual, common men had to suffer the loss. Radcliffe had as much knowledge of India’s cultural variation as much as Rakhi Sawant has of Indian politics. “We brought up the issue of Article 370 for the first time and thanks to ModiJi who listened to us and called for its abrogation.” So Radcliffe basically divided the country on the basis of population of Muslims and Hindus. The other factors to be considered were economic resources, irrigation facilities, and railway lines. This led to the division of Punjab and Bengal which caused heavy chaos consequently. Punjab was carelessly divided into two and people living there had no idea of which city, village belonged to India and which to Pakistan. There was no planning, no governance but hatred. This hatred led to riots, massacres that followed the partition. Muslims were either made to believe that Pakistan was their country or were forced to leave India. Hindus in the Pakistan region were also persecuted and forced to leave their homes. Partition had resulted in devastating massacres, forced conversions, mass abductions and horrible crimes against women. Some 75,000 women were raped during partition. Millions of people were affected due to partition; some lost their homes, their families, friends while many lost their lives. Journalists, who covered Nazi holocaust, found the atrocities of Partition more disturbing. The government did nothing to prevent or control such destruction. It was reported that when India and Pakistan were going through such huge transitions, Lord Mountbatten was busy watching a movie in the Viceroy’s house. For most of us, 15th August marks the dawn of freedom and prosperity but for many, it brings back the harsh memories of partition. We often rejoice in the golden days of our history but we are also responsible to keep the black days of the same history alive. We know it very well that our freedom fighters fought for decades to make India independent. But that freedom had come with a cost. The cost was peace and harmony among the various communities that lived in India. This episode is to remind us that whenever we are divided over religion, we do not become free but slaves of our hatred. If we are to prevent the history of partition to repeat itself, we need to acknowledge it first. We need to remember that freedom doesn’t only mean freedom from some foreign power but freedom from all those powers which try to create differences among ourselves. We can be truly free only when we are free from all those thoughts which provoke us to kill anyone, which bring hatred to the society and thoughts which may bring us close to religion but separate us from humanity. Partition is a sensitive issue and being a satire channel, we tried our best to handle it with care. Independence day is a celebratory occasion and partition is a dark chapter which we want to forget. But when we forget the history of partition, we forget the lessons we learnt from it and we tend to repeat the same mistakes. Even the Europeans have preserved the concentration camps and several other memorials to commemorate the atrocities by Hitler during World war 2. We, on the other hand, have tried to erase any memory left of partition. We do have literature though and I would request you to please read about partition and realize how we are repeating those mistakes and heading to a similar future. We are thankful to our Patreons who made this possible. Thanks to all our Ultimate DeshBhakts who support us and keep a check on us. You can order our merchandise on Kadakmerch.com Don’t forget to like, share, comment, subscribe to our channel and press the bell icon to get notifications. Thanks for watching, thanks for supporting.