Indian independence and the question of partition
included India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangledesh; separated from the rest of the continent by the Hindu Kush, Karakorum, and Himalaya ranges
partition (of british india)
division of states
taking over some one elses territory and claiming it as ones own
removing the colonial influence
nobles appointed by the emperor (the emperor doesnt have enough land to pay them). later on declare independence and call themselves nawabs
taxes increased, paying off debts, invasions by foreign forces, rise of regional rulers, european trade companies. marathas take over in 1700’s
british east india company
emperor allowed them to come to counter the influence of dutch and Portuguese. got involved politically because regional rulers traded trading rights for military assistance.
local indian want to work with british east india company. collect taxes, and gain power
nawab of bengal and sends troops to imprison anyone with the british east india company after they stop listening to the nawabs.
general robert clive
goes to india and gets help of merchants and bankers to overthrow siraj-ud-daula and the nawabs. then british company appoints another nawab which they remove because he isn’t obeying the promises.
how british east india company gained control of benghal
the mughal emperor sends troops and theres a fight between the company and the troops- british east india company wins. on paper its still the mughal empire but its really controlled by the company.
how company incorporated religion
translate the vedas and the quran. these are gonna be the basis of the new legal codes. in theory so its fair for everyone but people who aren’t hindu or muslim are screwed. divides country along religious lines.
role of british government
realize that british east india company has too much control and corrupt (took over benghal) so they are going to regulate it. regulating act of 1773 and pitt india act of 1784.
british grants ownership of the land to the zamindars (the land revenue collectors) who also have to pay taxes.
collecting taxes, structured legal system, make decisions to wage war
company influenced certain provinces without formally governing them
permanent settlement act
indian peasants need to move. they can stay if they rent.
at first allowed government officials to stay in power, then start replacing them with british officials. through the Indian civil service. opened up colleges for the british to study. indians in military, british on top and gave orders. recruit sepoys.
great revolt of 1857- sepoy rebellion
starts when sepoys don’t want to bite the grease cartridges and they are imprisoned. benghals army (british east india army) went against officials and killed them. 130.000 men died
indians kill 200 women and children. british do public executions, and blow up sepoys with canons to stop them. british win and recapture delhi.
british consolidates control
get rid of british east india company to make sure this doesn’t happen again. british crown gets everything. 1858 create act for the better government of india which means everyone is going to be treated equally under the law. however they still face discrimination.
how did british rule change
recruit soldiers from areas that had remained loyal.banned sepoys from top military positions and kept them isolated from society. sepoys were used to put down protests and revolts. made public spaces state property and stopped the publication of articles that criticized their authority.
recorded information on the indians to tailor policies to communities to better control the population. particular attention to religion. also used caste identity- used to rank society.
roads, railways, canals. quick transportation of military troops and rapid delivery of raw materials to coastal ports.
why did british want to partition bengal
calcutta became sight for anti colonial debates. Curzon thought that to keep control and quell anti british attitudes they needed to separate bengal along religious lines. Muslim peasant population in eastern bengal and educated hindus in western bengal. some Muslims supported his plan- could gain positions of authority since it was mainly dominated by hindus. partitioned in 1905
indian national congress
majority hindus, were frustrated that educated indians had no positions in the government
indian national congress asked those who opposed the partition to boycott british goods and buy indian made goods. began as protest against partition but became greater political representation for indians everywhere. british officials banned demonstrations, shut down printing presses, imprisoned participants. not all indians supported the movement. some peasants couldn’t afford all indian goods, others disapproved of the violence. muslims didn’t want to lose their newly gained power.
why did the british reverse the partition
swadeshi movement leaders were imprisoned or deported but there were still calls for political change and they wanted to end the tense political situation. 1911 it was reversed
john morley said indians were going to be given some form of representation in the government. muslims wanted to make sure seats would be reserved for them and not only have hindus. the league met with minto to assure they got seats.
morley-minto reforms- indian councils act
1909. added seats for indians to the provincial legislatures. hoped this would weaken anti-colonial protests. also reserved seats for muslims. would secure muslims as allies and fuel division among hindus and muslims in local elections.
world war 1
Britain forced colonies to contribute money, raw materials, soldiers. indian national congress and muslim league supported british governments decisions to enter the war hoping for political change.
muslims league and national indian congress wanted to discuss a united front against british rule. they signed an agreement to present shared political goals for the british. demand for self governance, indians right to vote.
home rule leagues
petitioned the british to transfer political power at the provincial and central level to indian hands immediately.
british response to self governance
indians would only gain control over education, health and agriculture in the provinces. indians sought to gain more political power
government of india act 1919
indians gained control over education, health and agriculture in the provinces but were denied the right to draft their own constitution
indians could be detained and tried without jury. ghandi- satyagraha (non violent resistance)
jillianwala bagh massacre
villagers met in the town square without any intention of using violence, without realizing there had been a ban on public gatherings. british perceived them as a threat and the military opened fire on them. upon hearing this, indians launched strikes and riots.
launched by ghandi. rallied against:jillianwala bagh massacre, harsh peace treaty britain and its allies had imposed on the ottoman empire, and the injustices of colonial rule. included boycotting foreign goods. supported by peasants, muslim indians, congress
muslim indians who opposed the decisions made by britain and its wartime allies to break apart the ottoman empire and create european colonial territories.
turn against non-cooperation movement
indian peasants gathered to protest britains unfair economic policies. police fired upon the crowd and arrested some protestors. the peasants lit the police station on fire.
hit india and crops prices plummeted. british still demanded taxes from indians. this resulted in strikes and campaigns where tenants refused to pay landlords. middle and upper class indians boycotted foreign goods.
ghandi went to lord irwin and asked that political prisoners be released, land taxes reduced. irwin declined. indians encouraged to boycott british stores and not pay certain taxes
why salt tax
a british imposed law that made it illegal for indians to gather and sell salt. made salt more expensive. ghandi thought this would unite all indians. british responded with mass arrests and force. ghandi finally reached an agreement with british to stop the civil disobedience if they released political prisoners and removed the salt tax.
government of india act 1935
britain had control over central government in matters of defense, railway system and finances but in the provinces indian representatives had governance.
congress won majority of provincial seats and ministries. muslims league realized it was very behind and mohammad ali jinah took role of leading it.
world war 2
muslim league and communist party supported british decision of war on germany. national indian company agreed to support on two conditions: indians must be immediately included in the central government and india must unconditionally receive independence after the war.
defense of india ordinance
british refused to meet the conditions so congress members in every provincial ministry resigned. this limited the power of other parties.
jinnah called for muslim majority provinces to become independent states
title for the muslim community in the northwest provinces of punjab, the afghan border, kashmir, sind and baluchistan. muslim league promoted them as a political identity that connected muslims
there was a threat of japanese invasion in india. winston churchill sent sent cripps and a delegation of british politicians to seek the cooperation of indian leaders. it was a failure
quit india movement
congress formed this to liberate india. they had strikes, destroying communication networks, manufacturing salt and establishing a government separate from the british. high level congress members were arrested.
muslim league opportunity
congress members were arrested and the league opposed the quit india movement. they wanted “pakistan” to have the same political and economic rights as hindus. did not want a strong government run by congress.
british organized a conference between the congress leadership and the muslim league. offered an interim government run by an almost all indian executive council. congress agreed but muslim league rejected because congress would be allowed to nominate the muslim members.
1946 revolts broke out in the indian british navy, indian sailors launched a hunger strike and the british sent another delegation to negotiate the terms of british withdrawal. muslims league and congress first agreed with the terms (grouped provinces into 3 clusters each with its own government and keep india united and the muslim league control over policies in the muslim- majority groups) but in the end rejected the plan.
great calcutta killings
after collapse of the cabinet missions, jinnah called on muslims to take the streets on a day when police and military were off. violence broke out and thousands of people killed.
transfer of power
british knew they had leave the subcontinent. they wanted to give the power to a unified central indian government. this way india could be an ally in the cold war instead of many little provinces that could be influenced.
announced that the power would be transferred into two new countries, india and pakistan. bengal would be partitioned between the two
bengali politicians response
bengal partition league tried to get as many hindu majority neighborhoods on the side of the indian border. bengal muslim league argued to have as many muslim majority neighborhoods on the side of pakistan. united sovereign bengal was disappointed by the news.
bengal boundary commission was formed to figure out specifics of partitioning bengal. Radcliffe who had never been to the subcontinent headed the commission.
flaws of boundary commission
key document used to separate was the all india census from 6 years ago. public was not included in the decision making.
how was the “birth” of pakistan and india announced
Nehru would serve as the first prime minister of india and made a speech. Jinnah was governor-general and also gave a speech.
details of the partition plan. it divided bengal into a hindu- dominated west bengal and a muslim dominated east bengal. west bengal wen to india and east bengal to pakistan.
migration and violence
people had to move since they had become an minority and those who didn’t faced death/rape/etc. people afraid for their lives there was violence everywhere. there was segregation between religious groups.
both pakistan and india had not been fully independent until years later. the British still interfered with the international affairs of both countries.
india enacted its first constitution in 1950 which made it an independent and democratic republic.
adopted its first constitution in 1956 which declared it an independent islamic republic.
east pakistan becomes bangladesh
government wanted to unify both parts of pakistan. government passed a law making the official language urdu. many people outraged that bengali was recognized as well. the language movement began to reverse the decision. there were protests and a civil war between the two sides. after military occupation east pakistan declared independence
south asians move to great britain
they sough better life and employment or distance from their partition torn communities and since the british was still rebuilding after world war 2 they needed a larger labor force.