Chapter

Drafting a New Nation

Haimanti Roy

in Partitioned Lives

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780198081777
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199081875 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198081777.003.0002
Drafting a New Nation

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This chapter looks in detail the various demands placed by leading political parties on how the border should drawn once the decision to partition had been taken. In addition it looks at petitions from local civic bodies and individuals, both Hindus and Muslims on where and why they perceived the border should be drawn. The chapter argues that although the border was central to the Partition process, it was undermined by several factors beyond the control of the parties involved. The very basis of the task involving religious demography was bound to fail and ultimately the Boundary Award failed to please anyone. However, the debates surrounding the Award shows us that rather than being passive bystanders or communally guided ideologues, the Bengali public felt and expressed a desire not only to be a part of the decision process but also to be able to claim a stake in their political futures.

Keywords: Radcliffe; Boundary Commission; petitions; border; Partition; Hindu Mahasabha; Indian National Congress; Muslim League; Nabadwip; Chittagong; Murshidabad; Khulna

Chapter.  8640 words.  Illustrated.

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