Makers of Modern South Asia: the Partition of 1947 | University of Oxford

Makers of Modern South Asia: the Partition of 1947

Event date
Norden Farm Centre for the Arts
Altwood Road
Event type
Courses and workshops
Event cost
From £33
Disabled access?
Booking required

The Partition of 1947 stands on the threshold of the making of modern South Asia. In 1947 the British Indian Empire became independent states, and the old empire was cut up into two new countries - India and Pakistan. In the process, over 12 million refugees trudged into the new countries and at least 500,000 were killed in the worst ethnic violence the subcontinent has ever seen. The reasons why a breakdown in relations happened between Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims has produced much soul-searching ever since. We will focus on four leaders in particular, while also talking about many other of the key-players and communities caught up in 1947. Gandhi: the spiritual and political maverick and leader of the Indian ‘masses’; Jinnah, the father-figure of Pakistan and the hero of South Asian Muslims in 1947; Nehru: India’s urbane first Prime minister and master planner and Mountbatten, the British Viceroy who oversaw the partitioning of the subcontinent. Controversial to this day, the different parts played by these individuals in the modern history of South Asia are still argued about by historians. This study day will aim to reassess the different roles taken by these leaders, to weigh up their own contributions and how far they were personally responsible for the events that unfolded and to create a full understanding of the Partition and the after-effects in South Asia.