Presentation on theme: "The British in India and partition"— Presentation transcript:
1 The British in India and partition BRITISH EAST INDIA COMPANYIn 1600, the British East India Company was set up by a group of British merchants in order to trade silver in return for Indian silk. By 1690 the Company had founded Calcutta as a trading station. However, they began to realise that if they wanted their trade to be secure, they had to gain political control over parts of India so towards the end of the century, they began to take control of other areas of India.REBELLIONHowever, Indians did not like a foreign power governing them. In 1857, Indian soldiers known as sepoys, mutinied and killed their officers. After the uprising was crushed, the British government abolished the East India Company and ruled India directly, setting up a Viceroy (representative of the British government) to govern India. Further control was enforced by Queen Victoria being made Empress of India in 1877.POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTHowever, the British did realise that Indians should have a greater say in government and so allowed the formation of the Indian National Congress Party in However, the Muslim community felt that their voice was not being heard in the party and so in 1906, the Muslim League was formed in order to protect Muslim interests.DEMANDS FOR INDEPENDENCEThe end of World War One in 1918 saw many Indians demanding independence from British rule. There were a number of non-cooperation campaigns led by Mahatma Gandhi who called for non-violence. In 1921, he became the leader of the Congress Party.During the 1920s, many Muslims who were part of the Congress Party became increasingly unhappy as they felt that Muslim interests were being ignored. One such member was Muhammad Ali Jinnah. In 1929, he made the decision to leave the Congress Party and join the Muslim League. He soon became the leader of this party. The same year also saw Jawaharlal Nehru become president of the Congress Party.Mahatma GandhiMuhammad Ali JinnahTOWARDS A MUSLIM NATIONIn central India in 1937, Congress won the majority in an election. However, they refused to choose any Muslim politicians in the government which caused problems with the Muslim communities. The result made Jinnah realise that the only way that he was going to win support from Muslims was to argue that they needed to have a nation based on religious grounds. However, he did not make this clear until 1940, when through the Lahore Resolution, the Muslim League announced it wanted a Muslim nation.Jawaharlal Nehru
2 Master Tara Singh Louis Mountbatten WORLD WAR TWO In 1942, Congress launched the Quit India campaign in which they refused to support the British in the war and demanded that they should leave India. This campaign was criticised by the Muslim League who thought that they would be in a better bargaining position if they supported the British.There was another attempt to settle matters, this time in 1945 in what was called the Simla Conference. Here there was a suggestion to form an Executive Council which would have four members. The Congress Party suggested two of its members who were Muslims. However, Jinnah refused the idea so talks came to a halt once again.PARTITION PLANSThe leaders met up once again in the Cabinet Mission Plan of The British suggested two possible plans. The first one proposed that India should be split along the lines of where there were Hindu or Muslim majority provinces. These provinces would have their own power but there would be a central government to deal with issues such as foreign affairs. The second plan was to have two countries: a Pakistan with a majority Muslim population and the rest would be India with a Hindu majority. Congress rejected both ideas which led to the League being angered and in turn, they instigated a peaceful strike in Calcutta. This turned into violence, leaving many dead.MOUNTBATTENIn 1947, Louis Mountbatten was made the Viceroy of India. He accepted the idea of partitioning India. The date for independence was set for June However, in February 1947, Mountbatten announced that he was going to bring it forward to August Sir Cyril Radcliffe was appointed to partition India. However, Radcliffe had no experience in this field. The key area that was the most problematic was the state of Punjab. It had a Muslim majority but Sikhs viewed it as their homeland.Master Tara SinghLouis MountbattenThe Sikh representative was Master Tara Singh, through his party called the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). On the 3rd of March 1947, Master Tara Singh, sword in hand, made a speech calling for ‘Death to Pakistan’ in front of a Pro-Pakistan crowd. This led to riots and violence across areas in Punjab.PARTITION AND THE AFTERMATHOn the 14th and 15th of August 1947, Pakistan and India were given independence but the boundary between the two countries was not announced. This were made public on the 17th of August 1947 and led to panic and a mass migration amongst the Muslim and Sikh communities. Sikhs did not want to be in a Muslim country and so migrated to India. Muslims who found themselves on the India side of Punjab migrated to Pakistan. There were major riots and killings on both sides and it is estimated that between 200,000 and one million people died.