India and Pakistan Relations Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

history of Pakistan and India and how they have progressed since winning independence.

India and Pakistan Relations

History of India and Pakistan relations

There is no doubt about the fact that ever since the partition of the sub-continent that took place more than 50 years ago India and Pakistan have been arch rivals. Their animosity goes back to a long time ago and finds its main causes in religion and history, which has taken a turn towards a deadly arms race. There have been many attempts to resolve the issues, but in spite of these efforts relations remain tense. With the recent changes taking place, there is growing concern about the growing hostility between the two countries, which is predicted could change into a war.

Independence and partition

India gained its independence from Britain on 15 August 1947. This was formation of the Hindu-dominated India and the Muslim state of Pakistan, which gained its independence on 14th August 1947.

The partition didn't seem to sink in very well with the people of the sub-continent but was followed by massive rioting and human floods Muslims and Hindus struggled to make way from the wrong sides of the newly drawn border.

The partition is remembered as the time when nearly half a million people died in extensive violence and communal rioting. The death toll was highest in Punjab, mainly because half of the state was given to India and the other half was given to Pakistan.

With the partition came the most problematic issue of the Muslim dominated Kashmir. The problem is that Pakistanis believe strongly that Kashmir should have become part of Pakistan in 1947 because the majority of its population were and are Muslims. Also, with the numerous United Nations resolutions passed, it implies that Kashmiris should have the right to cast a vote in a plebiscite to decide whether they are with India or Pakistan. However, India on the other hand says that Kashmir belongs to them because of the documents of Accession signed by the Maharaja in October 1947, which was handed over to Delhi powers of Defense, communication and foreign affairs.

In 1950, Kashmir's were given an extraordinary status in the Indian constitution, which meant more autonomy for them in comparison to than other Indian states. Under the Indian constitution, Jammu and Kashmir is an acclaimed state, and was given the right to go to the polls as a state.

It is believed that under the terms of the Simla Agreement of 1972 both of the countries have agreed to bilateral talks in order to resolve the Kashmir issue instead of resorting to futile international forums.

British colonization of India

Before British came to power in India, there was no concept of owning private property. The self-governing village community handed over a share of their produce to the ruler or his nominee annually. With the establishment of the East India Company this new revenue system was ended and two new forms of property on land - landlordism and individual peasant proprietorship were created. Without a doubt, the first outcome was the reduction in agricultural incomes by 50% discouraging the agrarian economy and self-governing villages.

However, the fields were no longer cultivated, and led to the overgrown tracks with thickets, giving way to famine and resulting in depopulation.

With this India became poorer and suffered from famine, but on the other hand, Britain became richer.

The British first knew that India was not only an agricultural country but also a manufacturing country, with prosperous textile industry, skills in iron working, shipbuilding industry in Calcutta, Daman, Surat, Bombay and Pegu. Other important industries were the enameled jewellery and stone carving of Rajputana towns as well as filigree work in gold and silver, ivory, glass, tannery, perfumery and papermaking. British destroyed Indian textile industry because a competitor existed and it had to be destroyed. The British firms despised shipbuilding industry and its progress and development were restricted by legislation. The British government in India also abolished India's metalwork, glass and paper industries.

Jawarharlal Nehru wrote that those parts of India which had been longest under British rule were the poorest: Bengal once so rich and flourishing after 187 years of British rule is a miserable mass of poverty-stricken, starving and dying people.

India became the country with hunger and poverty with the population suffering during the colonial period and Britain's profits made during the 19th century cannot compensate for the 28 million Indians who died of starvation between 1814 and 1901.

The fight for Pakistan's independence

The British had started dividing Muslims and Hindus from the 19th century but in the 20th century the nationalist movement turned against the British rule. The ex-rulers and wealthy Indians sought ways to bring an end to this new regime due to the death of many poor people from starvation and poverty.

In 1905 the British announced the partition of the province of Bengal, on administrative grounds. The plan led to protest giving rise to the first mass movement against the British. The best aspect of this was the formation of the Muslim League in 1906, which worked to promote loyalty to the British government, to protect and advance the political rights and interests of Muslims of India and represents their needs and aspirations to government. The League believed that the partition of Bengal was beneficial to Muslims, and said that boycotts and protests were pointless.

The British held elections in 1909, to win the support of a larger number of Indians with separate electorates for Muslims and Hindus at the provincial level. The 'Muslim' and 'Hindu' were put into political categories with income and educational qualifications for Muslim voters much lower than other groups.

Muslims and Hindus were not, similar in any way. They were divided by class, religion and language. Muslim peasants faced a Hindu gentry in east Bengal, Moplah Muslim cultivators faced Hindu landlords in Malabar, Muslim talukdars ruled over Hindu tenants in parts of the United Provinces, while Hindu moneylenders and merchants faced Sikh or Muslim peasants in the Punjab. The Muslims were Bengali, Punjabi, Sindhi or Pushtu speaking peasants, very different from wealthy Urdu speaking landlords of upper India. The divided class societies led to many conflicts and wars, but the long history of living together implied that Hindus and Muslims shared many practices.

War and revolt

The policy of divide erupted the First World War. Increased taxation was used to pay for Britain's war effort in Europe and the Middle East and increased inflation meant the price of food went up causing the living standards for the Indians to decline. The Kalifat Movement, following Turkey's defeat by Britain in the war, caused distress in Hindu leaders like Gandhi who chose to support Muslim demands. After the 1917 Russian Revolution there was mass agitation against British legislation that culminated in the British massacre at Amritsar in the Punjab where the Muslim-Hindu-Sikh unity saw people of the different creeds drinking out of the same cups publicly.

The movement for Indian independence went through tough times in the following years 1905-1908, 1919-1922, 1928-1934, 1942 and 1945-1946 - and there was always unity between Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims. This is because the political goals of the Congress meant it was unable to appeal to Hindu and Muslim workers and peasants on the basis of class, even though that was the best way to create communal unity forever.

Local Muslim elites believed that the Muslim League had little to offer them. So the League gained support from provinces where Muslims were a minority. The League's weakness was highlighted in the election of 1937, when the British cleverly won power at the center.

Therefore, ten years before partition, there were few indications of the communal terror that was to come. The League reappraised its strategy and began seriously to attempt to build more of a mass base through an overtly communal appeal to Muslims. It increasingly equated Congress with a 'Hindu Raj', identifying it with the majority religion in order to create apprehension among Muslims. Even British officials confessed the League was deliberately creating communal tension. The governor of the United Provinces, Sir Harry Haig, wrote to Viceroy Linlithgow in 1938, 'Finding themselves unable to effect much by parliamentary methods, they are inevitably tempted to create unrest and disturbance outside the legislature, and there is no doubt that the Muslim League have set themselves quite deliberately to this policy'. ["Imperial Nostalgia," review of The Raj: India and the British 1600-1947]

Under these circumstances the League passed its famous 1940 Lahore Resolution that accepted the 'two nations theory' which stated that Muslims and Hindus were separate nations and called for the establishment of an independent state of Pakistan.

It was after the Second World War before the League could win Pakistan. T In 1945-1946 elections were held to frame a new constitution and the League knew it had to speak for 'all Muslims'. So it went from province to win Muslim support. In…

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