August 15, 2022 marked the 75th anniversary of the Partition of the Indian subcontinent and the emergence of India and Pakistan as independent nation-states. Engineered by the British Raj, the Indian National Congress, and the Muslim League, it ended the 400 year colonial rule of the British crown in the Indian sub-continent. Complete independence was granted to colonized India on the condition that it be split into India, and East and West Pakistan. Thus, India’s independence from colonial rule in 1947 came to be forever linked with its ghostly twin, the Partition. The Partition of India in 1947, which created East and West Pakistan, started a domino effect that led to the partition of Pakistan in 1971 as East Pakistan became Bangladesh, and several unofficial partitions of Kashmir.
The Partition has been described by acclaimed Pakistani-American historian Ayesha Jalal as “the central historical event in twentieth century South Asia.” In her words, “A defining moment that has neither beginning nor end, partition continues to influence how the peoples and states of postcolonial South Asia envisage their past, present and future.”