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India's Partition: Process, Strategy and Mobilization

Mushirul Hasan
Oxford University Press
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From Google Books: "The Partition is probably the most cataclysmic event in the history of Twentieth-century India. It has had a profound impact on contemporary culture, literature, history and historiography. The impression left on the minds of those who lived through those traumatic times persists until this day. To the historian, India's partition and the subsequent birth of Pakistan presents a series of paradoxes: the Muslim League's sudden rise to power from a relatively insignificant position in the pre-1940 period; Jinnah - known to be a staunch believer of secular nationalist principles until the early 1930s - emerging as the major advocate of the Pakistan demand; and finally, the Congress' acceptance of the partition plan with seeming alacrity, thus relinquishing its vaunted principles of national unity. The essays, extracts and memoirs in this volume together try to make sense of these paradoxes. They include extracts from the speeches and writings of Azad, Jinnah, Gandhi and Nehru, memoirs of people who were actively involved in the politics of the time, and a short story by Sadaat Hasan Manto. The essays primarily look at events during the decade preceding Partition. They focus on the development of communal polities in Punjab, Bengal and Uttar Pradesh; the history of sectarian tension in the princely state of Hyderabad; Jinnah's personal charisma and his notion of realpolitik; issues of community and identity in Bengal; the conflict between liberal democratic and Islamic views on political representation; the Muslim mass contact campaign; and the constitutional strategies adopted in consolidating the Pakistan demand."