Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Partition - right or wrong

'Last month the BBC reported that in 1947 India became independent and all the violence was our fault because we partitioned it between the Muslim and non-Muslim populations. This month the BBC is reporting that in 1948 Burma became independent and all the violence is our fault because we didn't partition it between the Muslim and non-Muslim populations. To the BBC the only common factor seems to be the British involvement – unless you include the fact that where ever you go the Muslim are always the victims of all this inexplicable violence. '

Copied from a comment at biased BBC

1 comment:

Edward Spalton said...

The British government actually tried very hard to avert partition but could not secure agreement amongst the Indian leaders - all London-trained lawyers, by the way. The accusation of undue British haste looks superficially plausible. The British Indian army was a remarkable force but once the genie of partition was out of its bottle, could no longer be entirely relied on. It would have been politically impossible in Britain and India to draft in large forces from Britain to hold the ring. There had been considerable unrest amongst British troops about the slow pace of post war demobilisation. Not unreasonably, the troops wanted to come home. They had done their bit.

In any event the British government was broke and shortly afterwards had to withdraw from Palestine and Greece for this reason. Combined with the disastrous effects of the appalling winter, 1947 was very much an economic "year zero" for Britain. I can just remember the time with grown-ups complaining about rations being cut - to feed the malnourished population of the British occupation zone of Germany, it was said.