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:. . South Asia:. . Punjab

The British granted British India its independence on August 15, 1947. Violent sectarian riots took place before independence and influenced the British to partition British India. The partition was seen as a way of appeasing the various religious groups (see History).

Sir Cyril Radcliff led the boundary commission that did the partitioning. One of Radcliff's difficult tasks in setting the borders to form the two new nations of India and Pakistan was how to partition the Punjab region. Geographically, the Punjab was located between both nations. Yet partitioning the Punjab was difficult since most areas of the Punjab had a substantial mixture of Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs who did not want to be part of the same nation. Radcliff attempted to draw the boundary to ensure that most villages and towns with a Muslim majority would be in Pakistan and those with a majority of Sikhs and Hindus would end up in India. However, given the size of the Punjab, it was not always possible to draw the border to accommodate these religious groups. The commission's final decision was to award 62% of the Punjab's land and 55% of its people to Pakistan and the remainder to India (see 1947 map).

 






 


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The Punjab and Its People..| History of Punjab to 1947..|..Partition, 1947..|..Punjab's Prosperity ..|..Sikhism ..|..Demands for Khalistan
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