Pathway to Pakistan

Peter Heehs

in India's Freedom Struggle 1857-1947

Published in print August 1991 | ISBN: 9780195627985
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080670 | DOI:

Series: Oxford India Paperbacks

Pathway to Pakistan

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This chapter describes the Hindu-Muslim problem; the ‘divide and rule’ strategy of the British; the secular state and the roots of intolerance; the growth of the Pakistan idea; the Pakistan resolution; the Rajagopalachari formula; and last efforts to avoid partition. The British had good reasons for encouraging disunity between Hindus and Muslims. A handful of foreign officials were in charge of a population numbering hundreds of millions. The rulers depended on an army in which Indians outnumbered Europeans two to one. Had India presented a united front against them, the British could not have remained in the country for more than a fortnight. The years 1946 and 1947 would see the triumphant conclusion of the political struggle. But the communal problem would never be successfully resolved, and the bitterness of this failure would for a time mar the savour of the victory.

Keywords: Hindu-Muslim problem; divide and rule; British rule; secular state; Pakistan; partition; Rajagopalachari formula

Chapter.  3664 words. 

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