Indian Independence and the Question of Partition

The partition of 1947, which led to the creation of India and Pakistan, was one of the most volatile events of the twentieth century. Partition coincided with the end of British colonial rule over the subcontinent, and Indian independence was overshadowed by violence, mass displacement, and uncertainty. Indian Independence and the Question of Partition examines the history leading up to 1947 and the legacies of partition that remain today. Students explore the era of British colonialism, Indian campaigns for independence, and the political debates between Indian groups and the British. Students learn about the experience of one province, Bengal, to gain an in-depth understanding of what was at stake for different groups at the time. 

Part I: Empires in India

Part II: Indians Challenge the British Raj

Epilogue: The Effects of Partition

Day One Lesson: The Great Revolt of 1857: Source Analysis

Day Two Lesson: Mapping Religion in Bengal

Day Two Optional Lesson: Satyagraha: Gandhi, King, and Mandela

Day Three Lesson: The Four Options: Organization and Preparation

Day Five Lesson: Remembering Partition

Featured Scholars

David Gilmartin photo
North Carolina State University
Ayesha Jalal photo
Tufts University
Vazira Zamindar photo
Brown University