🏅Relationship between India and Pakistan after partition | Independence 1947
It’s been 73 years since colonial India gained its independence from the British and was divided into two separate states.
But what should have been a triumphant moment for both countries was marred by mass murder and mayhem.
has existed since the beginning of independence for these two countries.
Given the recent 73rd anniversary of this event, we were wondering:
how much has actually changed since August 1947?
Relationship between India and Pakistan after partition
Hi everyone, I’m Nishant Chandravanshi, and today we’re going to discuss the legacy of the partition and how it’s still affecting the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to this day.
Before independence, India was ruled by the British for nearly 200 years.
First by the British East India Company, a trading organization, and then by the official Crown of the British Empire.
There was a long, sustained movement for independence in India, led by different revolutionaries through the entirety of the British reign.
It culminated most famously with Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent campaign of civil disobedience, which swept much of the region along with existing revolutionary movements.
Relationship between India and Pakistan after Independence
In 1947, the British finally gave up their control of the territory, and a complicated legacy was born.
The Indian Independence Act 1947 established India and Pakistan as two different states, primarily based on religion.
Muslims in British India had been pushing for their own Muslim nation for years by that point, something Hindu nationalists in India had no problem with.
But it was hardly as easy as drawing lines on a map: the actual act of partition was a brutal, complicated mess, involving the displacement of about 14 million people across several provinces.
Sectarian groups, who were angered by the transition and displacement, often attacked each other, leading to many massacres among Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs.
Over one million people died during this period.
ALSO, India and Pakistan almost IMMEDIATELY began fighting over territory, particularly in one region that remains a major conflict point today: Kashmir.
Just a few weeks after independence, the two newly sovereign countries were at war.
The First Kashmir War, also known as the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, was launched because both sides claimed Kashmir.
Within the region, different groups and leaders had different perspectives:
the Maharaja wanted to remain neutral but ended up signing an agreement with India in return for military
Other parts of the Muslim-majority region thought it was only natural that they should join with Pakistan.
Since 1947, India and Pakistan have fought two wars and many armed conflicts over Kashmir.
There’s a debate over whether the conflict of 1999 was an actual war –
it is sometimes referred to as such in India and Pakistan, though there was no official declaration of war from the governments.
Regardless, Kashmir remains the biggest point of geopolitical conflict between the two countries, and the #1 reason for why they’ve gone to war.
Today, control of Kashmir is split between India and Pakistan.
Though they’ve agreed to ceasefires before, skirmishes remain, including deadly militant attacks on soldiers in recent years.
Relationship between India and Pakistan after 1947 partition
To complicate matters, China got involved in part of the dispute, claiming a portion of the region for themselves.
As if all of that weren’t enough to keep tensions running, let’s throw in something big: NUCLEAR WEAPONS.
India completed its first successful nuclear bomb test in 1974;
though at the time they claimed it was a peaceful test, it only served to accelerate the arms race between India and Pakistan.
Also, in a definite moment of irony, that bomb was code-named Smiling Buddha.
Pretty sure Buddha would not approve.
By 1998, both India and Pakistan were successfully testing nuclear weapons.
In 1999, the Indian government declared they have a “no first use” policy and that their nuclear arsenal is mainly for deterrence –
however, should that fail, they will use them in retaliation to a nuclear attack.
Current Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said he is committed to the no first use policy.
Though both India and Pakistan have signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, neither of them has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Currently, India is estimated to have 110 nuclear weapons, while Pakistan is estimated to have 130.
Relationship between India and Pakistan after partition 1947
So 70 years later, what are attitudes like among Indians and Pakistanis today?
According to the Pew Research Center, 6 in 10 Indians say Kashmir is still a huge problem, while a majority of Pakistanis “consider India a more serious threat to their country than al Qaeda or the Taliban.”
Both countries have seen a trend in recent years: people are increasingly negative in their views of the other.
This is likely due to rising trends in Hindu and Islamic nationalism, which we’re seeing reflected in the mainstream political parties as well as surveys of the public at large.
The most recent surveys say only 10% of Indians have a favorable view of Pakistan, while only 14% of Pakistanis have a favorable view of India.
With numbers like that, it’s clear the two neighbors still have a long, long road ahead.
The history is clear: the conflict between India and Pakistan was probably inevitable based on how they were divided.
But what can the countries do now to keep the peace?
Let us know what you think in the comments below.