A change, be it of government, policy or of any other parameter, is superfluous if it does not contribute positively towards the development of the people, country, or the world at large. While a change resembles death based on its inevitability, it surprises much to realize that those people who later reject it are the ones who play the most significant role of bringing it.
Changes are good but not all are necessary. The issue of the partitioning of India into India and Pakistan in 1947 was a change that was unnecessary based on the reasons that fuelled it as well as the evident outcomes of the change.
India was under the British colony and based on the insensitivity of its colonizer’s policies to the Indians, they sought to force them to quit their country. Before then, the Indians, despite their varied social, political, and religious diversity, lived with unity where they judged each other, not based on these parameters, but based on the content of their people’s characters.
Therefore, as the paper unfolds, since the partition of the country led to a significant reduction of per capita land, which on the other hand affected both the agricultural and industrial developments, it suffices to declare it unnecessary since the combined effects left the countries economically disabled.
The partition for India was not necessary based on its impact to the economy, not only of India, but also of the world at large. A necessary change must, in one way or another, change the economy for the better otherwise it is unnecessary like the case of India partitioning, which left the economy disintegrated. In fact, “Per capita availability of land went down after the partition” (Gopal & Bhatt 2006, 115).
The reasons for the partition were merely cultural and religious where the Muslims and Christians wanted to be treated as separate entities, which was the reason behind the British divide and rule system.
All these reasons had nothing to do with the growth of the Indian economy. In fact, under the British colonialism, Muslims segregated themselves from the colonial rule; actually, they declined any attempt to learn English. On the other hand, Muslim’s opponents, Hindus, got better chances in the government as they were committed to learn.
The Muslims felt that the British favored Hindus and this misconstrued perception was a major contributor to the partition. On the other hand, Hindu adherents opposed the slaughtering of cows for common use for Hindu adores cows as their gods and slaughtering a one amounts to an abomination. Before one reaches the decision of doing something, he/she has to engage his/her mind first calling for a lot of wisdom.
However, debates still exist as to whether the partition of the two countries, Pakistan and India, was wise or well founded based on the evident agricultural negative impact that it brought to the two countries. Instead of upgrading the then agricultural status, the partition left the countries agriculturally devastated thereby affecting, not only the countries’ economy, but also the global one.
The participating parties needed to weigh out issues like the effect that such decision will have on the agriculture of the Indians. They also ought to have considered the long-term relationship between the two expected countries: India and Pakistan. Based on the results of the partition, which range from conflicts and pronounced destruction rather than peace and developments, it suffices to infer that the decision was not wisely founded and hence unnecessary.
The two had no time to strategize on how to improve their agricultural sector. In fact, it is only a small portion of land, roughly 13 crore hectare that was under cultivation in 1947. Even after the imposition of a physical boundary, conflicts between these countries are still severe. Pakistan and India have “continuously fought over colonial issues and matters associated with the partitions are highly controversial, and remain a cause of much tension on the subcontinent today” (Gopal & Bhatt 2006, p.98).
Had it been a good idea, then the interested people ought to have addressed on the issue of how unity between the two countries was to be strengthen rather than uttering it as it happened. Therefore, the fact that conflicts persist even today between the two nations underlines why the partition was unnecessary. Although disasters were still evident in India before the partition, their increased frequency declares the plan unnecessary.
Based on the deteriorated economy of the two countries, the partition process resulted in more catastrophes than expected. First, it left majority of people unemployed following the significant lost share of industries that initially offered the jobs. It did not work as expected by Gandhi and his followers based on the many divisions that followed as a result. For instance, the State divided its assets including “the British Indian civil service, Indian railways and the central treasury between the two states formed” (Wolpert 2006, p.87).
This weakened the new states’ ability to support themselves in times of war and in terms of work force proving how pointless the partition was. Further, a useful decision like that of partitioning a country ought to solve problems concerning gender discrimination. However, the case proved unnecessary based on the way it interfered with the rights of the Indian women and girls.
Women and girls alike lost their dignities through rape cases. Men took advantage of the riots to humiliate women. The riots led to political instability, which in turn led hunger and resulted in death. Many of those affected were women and children; the most vulnerable groups in any conflict.
Orphaned children struggled with the unfairness of life by themselves. The worst scenario was the soaring number of refugees; 15 million refugees poured into the neighboring lands. “Cultures were lost and so were identities” (Mandelbaum 2007, p.119). Assimilation was a better option for the most of the refugees. The divisions that followed the decision were pronounced extending even beyond India.
The British Indian partition did not only lead to creating internal divisions but also it created external divisions, which on the other hand affected the trade, not only within India, but also outside it. For instance, initially, India produced cotton and food grains but after the partition, it started importing them. Further, divisions among some of the provinces such as Bengal and Punjab resulted from the partition exercise.
The ensuing chaos dissipated into hatred and loss of lives among the Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. The chaos also led to ruined economies. National instabilities crippled most of the businesses with majority opting closure than running at losses. The partition also led to loss of prominent leaders such as Gandhi, Jinnah, Allama and Iqbal (Kaur 2007, p.43). The painful loss of these leaders robbed the government of key leaders, which left the land in the hands of the young and inexperienced.
Therefore, in conclusion and based on the expositions of the paper, the Indian partition was unnecessary as it only serves as a good example of what a once economically stable country can degenerate into.
All countries that treat partitioning as a solution ought to learn a lot from India based on the evident destructive outcomes that range from loss of per capita land, agricultural issues, industrial deterioration, and the interference of trade, both internal and foreign. The devastating effects of the partition exercise negate any achievement that might have resulted from the partition.
There is no record in history of any positive outcome of the partitioning. All people can associate with the plan is the massive loss of people’s lives in India including that of key leadership figures like Gandhi, the rising number of refugee camps, the closing down of businesses, and the stagnation of the Indian economy among others. Therefore, since the partition left India in a condition worse that before, it suffices to declare it necessary.
Gopal, Bhargava, and Bhatt, Rajan. 2006. Land and people of Indian states and union Territories. New Delhi: Kalpaz Publications.
Kaur, Ravinder. 2007. Since 1947: Partition Narratives among Punjabi Migrants of Delhi. USA: Oxford University Press.
Mandelbaum, Michael. 2007. Democracy without America. The Spontaneous Spread of Freedom. Foreign Affairs 86, no. 5. (September/October): 117-120.
Wolpert, Stanley. 2006. Shameful Flight: The Last Years of the British Empire in India.USA: Oxford University Press.