Exploring the partition of India 75 years ago

August 14, 2022 GMT

STORY: HZ India Partition - Exploring the partition of India 75 years ago

LENGTH: 08:59

FIRST RUN:

RESTRICTIONS: AP Clients Only

TYPE: English/Natsound

SOURCE: ASSOCIATED PRESS/BRITISH MOVIETONE/AP IMAGES

STORY NUMBER: 4392548

DATELINE: Various, please see shotlist - London, UK / New Dehli, India / Karachi, Pakistan

INDIA PARTITION

SHOTLIST:

SOURCE: BRITISH MOVIETONE / ASSOCIATED PRESS / AP IMAGES

RESTRICTION SUMMARY: AP CLIENTS ONLY

LENGTH: 8:59

BRITISH MOVIETONE – AP CLIENTS ONLY

++British Movietone is an historical collection. Any views and expressions within either the video or metadata of the collection are reproduced for historical accuracy and do not represent the opinions or editorial policies of the Associated Press.++

BRITISH MOVIETONE

New Delhi - 12 June 1947

1. Various of arrivals of Indian leaders ++NARRATION FROM SOURCE++

2. Jawaharlal Nehru, Muhammad Ali Jinnah Tara Singh and Lord Louis Mountbatten sitting round a table talking ++NARRATION FROM SOURCE++

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

New Deli - 11 August 2022

++VIA VIDEO CALL++

3. SOUNDBITE (English) Zoya Hasan, author, Professor Emerita, Jawaharlal Nehru University and former Dean of the School of Social Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University:

“India’s historic independence was surrounded in violence. India was traumatised by the violence that broke out around independence. But I think that doesn’t take away from the significance of 1947, of 15th August 1947. And Jawaharlal Nehru’s historic speech about Indian independence. And, at the same time, I think that was a moment of great expectation when a country, when India, would (have) been colonised for 200 years, was going to be free. And the opportunities that freedom provided, and there was for that generation of people in India a huge expectation. And above all, it was not just that freedom was the culmination of an anti-colonial movement, but it was also resulted in the establishment of democracy.”

BRITISH MOVIETONE

India - 23 June 1947

4. Principal leader of the Indian nationalist movement, Jawaharlal Nehru, arrives ++NARRATION FROM SOURCE++

BRITISH MOVIETONE

Karachi  - 21 August 1947

5. Various of Lord and Lady Mountbatten in Karachi, as Ali Jinnah is sworn in as Governor General of Pakistan and raised the flag

AP IMAGES

New Delhi, India - September 27, 1947

6.  STILL of hundreds of Muslim refugees jam inside and atop the engine and coaches of this train leaving the New Delhi area for Pakistan.

AP IMAGES

New Delhi, India - September 26, 1947

7. STILL of panic stricken Muslim refugees cram onto the roof and interior of a train bound for Pakistan as it leaves the New Delhi, India area, Sept, 26, 1947.

AP IMAGES

New Delhi, India - 1 January 1947

8. STILL of hundreds of Muslim refugees crowd on top a train leaving New Delhi for Pakistan. After Britain ended its colonial rule over the Indian subcontinent, two independent nations were created in its place _ the secular, Hindu-majority nation of India, and the Islamic republic of Pakistan. The division, widely referred to as Partition, sparked massive rioting that killed up to 1 million, while another 15 million fled their homes in one of the world’s largest ever human migrations.

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AP IMAGES

Naru Nangal, Pakistan - August 27, 1947

9. STILL of Bodies, victims of Sikh raiders, lie in a courtyard awaiting burial in a common grave, in the village of Naru Nangal, Pakistan. The victims died in strife growing out of the partition of India into the Dominions of Pakistan and India. The village is near Hoshiarpur, 90 miles east of Lahore, the capital of Pakistan.

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++Warning Graphic Content++

ASSOCIATED PRESS

London, UK - 11 August 2022

++VIA VIDEO CALL++

10. SOUNDBITE (English) Gurharpal Singh, Emeritus professor of Sikh and Punjab Studies, Soas. University of London:

“The legitimacy of British presence in India declined very quickly in the 1940s, mainly because of the impact of the Second World War, but largely because of the mobilisation on the ground by the Congress Party and the Muslim League and other regional forces, which were opposed to the British. So the British by, you know, 1945, 46, 47 were very keen to get out. They had no intention of staying in India. What they wanted to achieve was a common agreement on a united India, post-independence and that they were unable to achieve. And in the event, Mountbatten executed a very speedy exit from India.”

BRITISH MOVIETONE

New Delhi - 21 August 1947

11 . Various of of New Delhi as power transferred to the new Dominion of India, Lord Mountbatten sworn in as Governor General ++NARRATION FROM SOURCE++

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

London, UK - 11 August 2022

++VIA VIDEO CALL++

12. SOUNDBITE (English) Gurharpal Singh, Emeritus professor of Sikh and Punjab Studies, Soas. University of London:

“The country was eventually divided along the lines of majority and minority Muslim districts. And this division occurred following first, as I’ve said previously, the acceptance of the idea of Pakistan as an independent state, and then the establishment of a boundary commission led by Sir Radcliffe, who demarcated - Sir Cyril Radcliffe, who demarcated the boundaries in the contested provinces of Bengal and Punjab into majority and majority and non-majority Muslim districts. And this process was highly unusual. It was compressed into a few weeks and was very, very sensitive, so much so that the boundary lines between Pakistan and India was not announced until after India was granted independence on the 15th.”

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ARCHIVE: 1965

13. 1965 Indo-Pakistan War. India and Pakistan at war over rival claims to Kashmir

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

New Deli - 11 August 2022

++VIA VIDEO CALL++

14. SOUNDBITE (English) Zoya Hasan, author, Professor Emerita, Jawaharlal Nehru University and former Dean of the School of Social Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University:

“I think the relationship between India and Pakistan today is at its lowest ebb. It’s never been as bad as it is today, in the sense that the two countries which need to talk are not talking at least formally, that there may be backchannel talks, it’s possible. But at least there’s no evidence of any dialogue between India and Pakistan in the public domain. So much so that both countries are not even getting visas for travel, for travel to citizens of each other. So there’s a great deal of distrust between both countries.”

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ARCHIVE: 1965

15. 1965 Indo-Pakistan War. India and Pakistan at war over rival claims to Kashmir

LEAD-IN:

On August 15, 2022, India will mark its 75th Independence Day.

India’s independence was quickly overshadowed by some of the worst bloodletting the world has ever seen, leaving up to 1 million people dead.

STORYLINE:

In August 1947, the British ended two centuries of colonial rule on the Indian subcontinent.

It marked India’s transition from a British colony to a democracy - the first in South Asia - that has since transformed from a once poverty-stricken nation into one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, earning itself a seat at the global high table and becoming a democratic counterweight to its authoritarian neighbour, China.

But 75 years ago excitement over independence was quickly overshadowed by some of the worst bloodletting the world has ever seen, leaving up to 1 million people dead as gangs of Hindus and Muslims fought each other.

The vast country of India was split in two parts - Hindu dominated India a newly created Muslim dominated Pakistan.

“India’s historic independence was surrounded in violence. India was traumatised by the violence that broke out around independence. But I think that doesn’t take away from the significance of of 1947, of 15th August 1947, and Jamal Allen’s historic speech about about Indian independence. And at the same time, I think that was a moment of great expectation when a country the way India, which would be colonised for 200 years, was going to be free. And the opportunity that freedom provided and there was for that generation of people in India a huge expectation. And above all, it was not just that freedom was the culmination of an empty colonial movement, but it was also resulted in the establishment of democracy,” explains Zoya Hasan, Professor Emerita, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

India’s independence leaders had proposed a secular federation where Hindus and Muslims would live together.

The Muslim League, representing the region’s 30 percent Muslim minority, said it wanted a separate nation to be free of perceived oppression by the Hindu majority.

Creating two independent nations, however, tore apart millions of Hindu and Muslim families in one of the world’s largest peacetime migrations.

Many fled their homes and lost their property, never imagining that they would not be able to return.

At least 15 million people were displaced.

“The legitimacy of British presence in India declined very quickly in the 1940s, mainly because of the impact of the Second World War, but largely because of the mobilisation on the ground by the Congress Party and the Muslim League and other regional forces, which were opposed to the British. So the British by, you know, 1945, 46, 47 were very keen to get out. They had no intention of staying in India. What they wanted to achieve was a common agreement on a united India, post-independence and that they were unable to achieve. And in the event, Mountbatten executed a very speedy exit from from from India,” says Gurharpal Singh, Emeritus professor of Sikh and Punjab Studies, Soas, University of London.

As relations between India and Pakistan soured, travel restrictions and hostile bureaucracies kept many from crossing the border to visit family and friends.

No issue bedevilled India-Pakistan relations like the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

Soon after gaining independence, both sides claimed the majority-Muslim region in its entirety.

“The country was eventually divided along the lines of majority and minority Muslim districts. And this division occurred following first, as I’ve said previously, the acceptance of the idea of Pakistan as an independent state, and then the establishment of a boundary commission led by Sir Radcliffe, who demarcated - Sir Cyril Radcliffe, who demarcated the boundaries in the contested provinces of Bengal and Punjab into majority and majority and non-majority Muslim districts. And this process was highly unusual. It was compressed into a few weeks and was very, very sensitive, so much so that the boundary lines between Pakistan and India was not announced until after India was granted independence on the 15th,” explains Singh.

Kashmir’s Hindu ruler wanted to stay independent, but local uprisings and a raid by Pakistani tribesmen drove the maharaja to seek assistance from Indian troops.

This spiralled into a year long war that ended with a U.N.-brokered ceasefire and Kashmir divided between the two young nations by the heavily militarised Line of Control.

Kashmiri discontent with Indian rule took root as successive governments reneged on a promise to allow a referendum.

India and Pakistan fought a second war over Kashmir in 1965 that resulted in little change.

When a full-blown rebellion erupted in 1989, India deployed even more troops to the region.

Thousands of Kashmiri fighters staged bloody attacks on Indian security forces and on pro-India Kashmiri politicians.

In the last decade, the rebellion has been suppressed and most anti-India sentiment is expressed in regular street protests by tens of thousands of civilians.

The many efforts to resolve their longstanding disputes have all, so far, been in vain.

In some ways, the violent birth of India and Pakistan dictated their future course through suspicion and animosity.

“I think the relationship between India and Pakistan today is at its lowest ebb. It’s never been as bad as it is today, in the sense that the two countries which need to talk are not talking at least formally, that there may be backchannel talks, it’s possible. But at least there’s no evidence of any dialogue between India and Pakistan in the public domain. So much so that both countries are not even getting visas for travel, for travel to citizens of each other. So there’s a great deal of distrust between both countries,” says Hasan.

Today as the country marks 75 years of independence from British rule, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s populist government stands accused by critics of using unbridled political power to undermine democratic freedoms and preoccupying itself with pursuing a Hindu nationalist agenda.

The country is facing the challenge of raging unemployment and worsening insecurity and inequality between the rich and poor despite India’s emergence as a global power whose $3 trillion economy is the third largest in Asia.

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