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Partitioned LivesMigrants, Refugees, Citizens in India and Pakistan, 1947-65$
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Haimanti Roy

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198081777

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198081777.001.0001

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Drafting a New Nation

Drafting a New Nation

(p.33) 1 Drafting a New Nation
Partitioned Lives

Haimanti Roy

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks in detail the various demands placed by leading political parties on how the border should drawn once the decision to partition had been taken. In addition it looks at petitions from local civic bodies and individuals, both Hindus and Muslims on where and why they perceived the border should be drawn. The chapter argues that although the border was central to the Partition process, it was undermined by several factors beyond the control of the parties involved. The very basis of the task involving religious demography was bound to fail and ultimately the Boundary Award failed to please anyone. However, the debates surrounding the Award shows us that rather than being passive bystanders or communally guided ideologues, the Bengali public felt and expressed a desire not only to be a part of the decision process but also to be able to claim a stake in their political futures.

Keywords:   Radcliffe, Boundary Commission, petitions, border, Partition, Hindu Mahasabha, Indian National Congress, Muslim League, Nabadwip, Chittagong, Murshidabad, Khulna

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