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Old May 16th, 2018, 05:16 PM   #1

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How crucial was World War II to the Partition of India?


In your opinion, how crucial was World War II to the Partition of India? In other words, do you think that the Partition of India would have still occurred without World War II?

The reason that I am asking this is because I know that World War II allowed the Muslim League to rise into prominence in India among Indian Muslims. However, I also know that Hindu-Muslim tensions preceded World War II. If I recall correctly, even the idea of Pakistan predates World War II--with it first being formulated in 1930.

Anyway, any thoughts on this?
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Old May 16th, 2018, 06:39 PM   #2
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In your opinion, how crucial was World War II to the Partition of India? In other words, do you think that the Partition of India would have still occurred without World War II?

The reason that I am asking this is because I know that World War II allowed the Muslim League to rise into prominence in India among Indian Muslims. However, I also know that Hindu-Muslim tensions preceded World War II. If I recall correctly, even the idea of Pakistan predates World War II--with it first being formulated in 1930.

Anyway, any thoughts on this?
About 26% of the people of pre-partition India were Muslims, with large regions of present Pakistan and Bangladesh heavy Muslim, so partition was inevitable, given the nature of Islam and the mindset of Muslims. Seeds of division were planted long before WW2.
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Old May 16th, 2018, 06:42 PM   #3

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About 26% of the people of pre-partition India were Muslims, with large regions of present Pakistan and Bangladesh heavy Muslim, so partition was inevitable, given the nature of Islam and the mindset of Muslims. Seeds of division were planted long before WW2.
Lebanon also has a large Muslim population and yet it didn't break up.
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Old May 16th, 2018, 06:55 PM   #4
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Lebanon also has a large Muslim population and yet it didn't break up.
Well, Lebanon is too small to breakup any further, but note that the country was created by breaking up Syria for Christians. Troubles in Lebanon started when Muslim numbers began to increase, and now there are separate Christian areas, Muslim Sunni areas, and Muslim Shia areas, hostile to each other, and hardly a strong functioning government. Basically militias of these groups are in control of their respective regions. It is really a country without a government.

If for some miracle India had stayed united it would have ended up just like Lebanon, with constant communal strife. A divided India would be a much better option.

Last edited by kandal; May 16th, 2018 at 07:05 PM.
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Old May 16th, 2018, 07:16 PM   #5

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Economics. Colonies were not economically viable. Independence would have come with or without WW II, with or without partition, though not if Churchill was in charge. It came to the whole empire. Attlee in UK was like Gorbachev in Russia who said 'Let us be done with it'.

If India was united, there would always had been Muslim Prime Ministers. 26% is enough to tilt the scales in a democracy. It would have been the 'end' of Hinduism. Partition saved Hinduism.

Last edited by Aupmanyav; May 16th, 2018 at 07:20 PM.
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Old May 16th, 2018, 07:18 PM   #6

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Well, Lebanon is too small to breakup any further, but note that the country was created by breaking up Syria for Christians. Troubles in Lebanon started when Muslim numbers began to increase, and now there are separate Christian areas, Muslim Sunni areas, and Muslim Shia areas, hostile to each other, and hardly a strong functioning government. Basically militias of these groups are in control of their respective regions. It is really a country without a government.

If for some miracle India had stayed united it would have ended up just like Lebanon, with constant communal strife. A divided India would be a much better option.
I agree that India is probably better-governed as a result of being partitioned.

That said, though, it would have been nice had Britain kept the partition date as July 1948. That way, there would have been more time to prepare for the partition and thus possibly not as much deaths as a result of the partition.
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Old May 16th, 2018, 07:20 PM   #7

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Economics. Colonies were not economically viable. Independence would have come with or without WW II, with or without partition, though not if Churchill was in charge. It came to the whole empire. Attlee in UK was like Gorbachev in Russia who said 'Let us be done with it'.
Oh, I completely agree that India was meant to eventually become independent in any case. However, what I am curious about is whether or not it would have still gotten partitioned in a scenario where World War II doesn't occur.

I seem to recall Lord Mountbatten saying that he would have stalled had he known that Jinnah was so ill. Now, the question is this--would Jinnah's successors in the Muslim League have still demanded partition after his death had the partition of India been delayed?
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Old May 16th, 2018, 10:02 PM   #8

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I seem to recall Lord Mountbatten saying that he would have stalled had he known that Jinnah was so ill. Now, the question is this--would Jinnah's successors in the Muslim League have still demanded partition after his death had the partition of India been delayed?
Not sure, if Lord Mountbatten had that kind of authority. And yes, if it was not Jinnah, it would have been someone else, Liaqat Ali or Suhravardy.
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Old May 16th, 2018, 10:32 PM   #9
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in my opinion partition was inevitable,with or without WW 2,large muslim population areas would have definitely formed one state for themselves,jinnah wasn't exactly the pious muslim,if a person like jinnah can make different state for muslims then practically any one could have.

WW 2 had impact on ending colonial days more than in partition.
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Old May 17th, 2018, 12:18 AM   #10
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Lebanon also has a large Muslim population and yet it didn't break up.
Yeah, but Lebanon is the size of a postage stamp. It's not big enough to "break up".
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