The Partition of India divided British India into the countries of India and Pakistan (East and West Pakistan) in 1947. That was part of the end of British Raj, British rule in the Indian subcontinent. One reason for partition was the two-nation theory, which was presented by Syed Ahmed Khan and stated that Muslims and Hindus were too different to be in one country. Pakistan became a Muslim country. India became a majority Hindu country and became nominally secular country in 1974 when the word 'secular' was added to the Preamble of Indian Constitution.
Millions of people moved across the new Radcliffe Line between the two newly formed states. The population of British India in 1947 was about 570 million. After partition, there were 370 million people in India, 170 million in West Pakistan and 30 million people in East Pakistan.
Once the lines had been established, about 14.5 million people crossed the borders to what they hoped was the safety of their religious majority. The 1951 Pakistani Census showed the number of displaced there at 7,226,600. They were presumably Muslims who had entered Pakistan from India. Similarly, the 1951 Indian Census showed 7,295,870 displaced people, apparently Hindus and Sikhs who had moved to India from Pakistan. Both numbers add up to 14.5 million. Other people came from China to take advantage of the open border.
The newly formed governments were unable to deal with the forced migration of such huge numbers. Massive violence occurred on both sides of the new border. Hundreds of thousands died; some estimates are in the millions.
The partition caused a lot of uncertainty in many parts of the new nations, especially in the region of Jammu and Kashmir, parts of which went to both countries, which went to war several times to try to take the whole region.
- "If The British Had Never Ruled Our Country, This Would Be India Today". Souvik Ray. India Times. 30 July 2015.
- D'Costa, Bina (2011). Nationbuilding, gender and war crimes in South Asia. Routledge. p. 53. ISBN 9780415565660.
- Butalia, Urvashi (2000). The other side of silence: voices from the Partition of India. Duke University Press.
- Sikand, Yoginder (2004). Muslims in India Since 1947: Islamic perspectives on inter-faith relations. Routledge. p. 5. ISBN 9781134378258.