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Author: Madhav Godbole
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8129109913
The partition of India was a traumatic event. Apart from destroying the unity of India, the two-nation theory created a divide between the Muslims and non-Muslims which has not been easy to bridge. But, more important was its tremendous human cost-loss of about a million lives and uprooting of nearly eighteen million people. This holocaust, which Nehru described as a man-made Greek tragedy, is the focus of this book. Based on extensive and in-depth research, it sheds new light on several important issues.
The book surveys the critical eighteen-month period preceding the transfer of power which saw widespread communal hatred and violence. The poison of communalism had seeped so deep that it should have been evident to anyone that transfer of power was not going to be peaceful. But, the British and the leaders of the two would-be dominions-India and Pakistan-failed to see this writing on the wall. The book vividly brings out the holocaust, makes a clinical and thorough inquest, and concludes that, with foresight and planning, its extent and severity could have been reduced substantially. Analysis of such a monumental tragedy inevitably lead to a critical appraisal of the role played by the authors of the tragedy, and the actors who played a part in it-on stage, backstage and in the wings.
The book argues that Nehru and Patel must have been aware of the seriousness of Jinnah’s illness and still pressed for partition, should be eternally indebted to them for their farsightedness, political courage and statesmanship. United India would have been unlivable, ungovernable, unsurvivable. With its wide canvass, this fascinating and thought-provoking book is a must read.
Prelude to Partition-Communal Civil War
The Principal Actors
The Partition in Retrospect
Appendix I: With a Refugee Column
Appendix II: Retrospect
Appendix III: Mountbatten’s Self-defence
Principal Hoders of Office