Insurgencies and Counterinsurgencies in South Asia

Authored by: Subhasish Ray

Routledge Handbook of the International Relations of South Asia

Print publication date:  October  2022
Online publication date:  October  2022

Print ISBN: 9781032159881
eBook ISBN: 9781003246626
Adobe ISBN:


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On the eve of Partition, even in the places where there was a heightened sense of difference, there were many countervailing forces. Mercantile and manufacturing communities from sari weavers to tea planters depended on pragmatic co-operation for their livelihoods, while festivals and holidays were flamboyantly celebrated across the board. Class, as ever, acted as a social gel and rich Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims of the same social standing partied together in gilded hotels, irrespective of religion; university friends of various backgrounds attended the same classes; and poor agriculturalists relaxed together on charpois at the end of a day's work. Above all, it was a very long jump from a sense of difference, or lack of social cohesion, to mass slaughter and rape. There was nothing “inevitable” about Partition and nobody could have predicted, at the end of the Second World War, that half a million people or more were going to die because of these differences. 1

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