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Ringing Bells of Freedom and Chaos in 1947: Partition of India and Pakistan' Happy Independence Day.

"پاکستان یومِ آزاد یخوش"

Pakistan is all set to celebrate its 75th Yaum-e-Azadi (Independence Day) on August 14, 2022. This day remains significant as Pakistan not just received independence but was declared a sovereign state, following the end of the British Raj in 1947. This all became reality and turned into fruition as a result of the Pakistan Movement, which aimed for the creation of an independent Muslim state in the north-western regions of British India via partition. The movement was led by the All-India Muslim League under the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

While freedom and independence from the clutches of Firangis was the goal, the partition of India and Pakistan was never supposed to come hand-in-hand. The culmination of chaos and violence with the partition was no less than a nightmare.

While most of us believe in “United we stand, divided we fall”, the Britishers were ardent fans of “Divide and rule”. Guess what, we, the people of India, fell into their trap. Many great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru gave up their lives just to see a speck of unity between us, but we were busy dividing our motherland. With Britishers rubbing their hands in the background after seeing this luscious opportunity to bring a wide gap between Hindus and Muslims, we were all set to execute their cruel plan unknowingly.

The word partition brings in the horrific pictures of violence and chaos. Helpless people trodding down the roads, women being dragged from their homes on the blood-soaked streets, people carrying the old ones on their back, children being crushed to death, refugee trains overburdened with sorrows and baggage.

August 14-15, 1947 was indeed one of the most sorrowful days in the history of the Indian subcontinent. While the world map must have been happy to welcome a new country, the real picture of partition that we see today in history books is somewhat sad and unexpected.

Dividing British India into two halves was the “last-minute” mechanism. This not only ensured the permanent eradication of a parasite named British Raj but also gave a clear picture of how the famous independence would take place. Even if the entire process sounds pretty simple, only a few people could predict the after-effects of this surprisingly immediate partition.

The wheels of nationalism were dragged by none other than the Indian National Congress whose best-known leaders, Gandhi and Nehru made sure to make every freedom movement as secular as they could. Even before the coming of the 1940s era, long-drawn arguments for a unitary state with a strong centre had always been the focus. Even after constant assurances of INC being secular, a seed of doubt had started growing in the minds of the Muslims. They had the insecurity of being ignored for their rights due to the dominance of Hindus who made up about 80% of the population.

Muslims formed India’s largest minority groups with their rights secured through reservations in legislative seats and separate electorates. But with Britishers constantly pushing them for their rights to execute their “divide and rule” policy, the Muslims were worried about their status in an independent India.

Muslim majority areas in northern India and provinces of Bengal and Punjab came together under the dauntless leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and won the majority of Muslim votes in the provincial elections. Though this historic win allowed them to claim their powers over these areas, the seeds of doubt grew even bigger, nurtured by the conniving words of the Britishers.

It was finally in March 1940 that a demand shook the entire country. The Muslim League came to the forefront with its dreadful resolution. Known by the name of “Pakistan” resolution, this piece of paper demanded the creation of “separate states” for accommodating the Indian Muslims. Though this demand was quite clear, there is confusion regarding the assertion of this resolution.

The arrival of Lord Mountbatten in Delhi in 1947 was the turning point for India and Pakistan. With him came a new proposal, a proposal that would scar the lives of millions. Pakistan had spread its eastern and western wings 1,700 kilometres away from the Indian territory and celebrated its freedom on 14 August, while India celebrated its freedom the very next day

After 190 years of struggle, India finally breathed a fresh new air of freedom. To celebrate the Golden Jubilee of India’s freedom, a distinguished crowd gathered at the Central Hall of Parliament on 14-15 August 1997. In the same hall and on the same day, with a few new members and numerous old members, India celebrated freedom at the stroke of midnight

Adorned with the famous speech of “Tryst with Destiny” of Nehru, Saare Jahan Se Accha Hindustan Hamara in the soulful voice of Lata Mangeshkar, and Vande Mataram in the powerful voice of Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, this session also mourned over the loss of lives in the rush of partition

Even after so many years of partition and independence, a cold look is often seen in the eyes of Indians and Pakistanis. Once known to be bound by threads of brotherhood, today stand with enmity and hidden motives in their hearts.

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