Independence and Partition

Map showing the partition of IndiaIn 1947, India gained independence from British rule. At this time, it was divided along religious lines, creating the newly independent states of India and Pakistan. As part of that division, the two largest Muslim-majority provinces, Bengal (in the East) and the Punjab (in the West), were also divided. East Bengal became the eastern wing of Pakistan. This process was known as Partition.

Refugees on train roof during PartitionPartition led to horrific violence, and the largest recorded mass migration in human history. Over 25 million people are thought to have crossed the new borders between India and Pakistan in the years after Partition. Since Partition, relations between India and Pakistan have been marked by conflict; three wars have been fought between the two countries.

In 1971, Pakistan was partitioned again; this time by a civil war and the creation of Bangladesh.

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