Q.1. State the outcome of Provincial Elections in 1946.
Ans. When provincial elections were held in 1946, Congress got majority on several seats and got 91.3% Non-Muslim votes. Muslim League also got good majority on the seats reserved for Muslim League. The League could have claimed to be “Sole Spokesperson” of Indian Muslims, but the right to vote in this election was limited.
Q.2. Why was Pakistani resolution of 1940 considered ambiguous? Give any two reasons.
Ans. It is commonly known as Lahore Resolution and was moved on 23rd March, 1940. Initially, the League itself was not clear about its demand in 1940. It was considered as ambiguous because the name pakistan or formation of any state was used in it. The League members of the resolution actually foresaw two separate states in India. They are Muslim-dominated in the north-western and eastern part of India, in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign. Even Jinnah saw it as a bargaining offer, useful for blocking the offer to congress and gaining favours for the Muslims.
Q.3. Why did the Congress not accept the proposal to form a joint government with the Muslim League in the United Provinces? Give any two reasons.
Ans. The Congress had won an absolute majority in the election to the provincial legislatures held in 1937 for the first time but only 10-12% of the population enjoyed the right to vote. The Muslim League faired poorly and failed to win a single seat and wanted to take part in the joint government, but was rejected by the Congress. Moreover, the Muslim League supported landlordism whereas the Congress wanted to abolish it.
Q.4. Why did the Muslim League decide on “Direct Action” for winning its demand for Pakistan? Explain.
Ans. In 1946 elections, Congress won the general constituencies and the Muslim League also got spectacular victories in its constituencies reserved for them. Congress won 402 out of 509 seats reserved in the provinces. Only in 1946 the Muslim League established as a dominant party. The election infused new confidence among the Muslim League and it accelerated its demand for an independent pakistan. The League decided to accelerate Direct Action Day on 16 August 1946 for the creation of a New Nation. Riots broke out in Calcutta and bloodshed continued there for almost a year.
Q. 5. Critically examine the Cabinet Mission of 1946.
Ans. In March 1946, the British Cabinet sent three member for a mission to Delhi to examine the League’s demand and to suggest a suitable political framework for a free India. The Cabinet Mission toured the country for 3 months and recommended a loose three–tier confederation. India was to remain united. It was to have a weak central government controlling only foreign affairs, defence and communications with the provincial assemblies being grouped into three sections while electing the Constituent Assembly. Section A for the Hindu majority provinces, and sections B and C for the Muslim majority provinces of the North-west and North-east (including Assam) respectively. Initially all the major parties accepted the plan, but was short–lived because it was based on mutually opposed interpretations of the plan. Thus, both of them did not accept the mission and this was a most crucial juncture, as partition became more or less inevitable after this.
Q. 6.Why did Congress agree for dividing Punjab into two halves? Explain.
Ans. Initially, the Congress was against the partition of the country. But in March, 1947, the Congress high command agreed to divide punjab into two halves. One part would constitute the Muslim majority areas and the other would include areas having Hindu-Sikh majority. Many Sikh leaders and Congressmen were convinced that partition of punjab was a necessity. The Sikhs leaders felt that if they did not accepted the partition, they would get dominated by the Muslim majorities. The similar principle was applied in Bengal and there was a section of Bhadralok Bengali Hindus who wanted to retain political power with them. As the Hindus were in minority in Bengal, they felt that only a division of the provinces could ensure their political dominance.
Q. 7. Analyse the impact of partition of India on Punjab and Bengal.
Ans. Impact of partition of India on punjab: Impact of partition was traumatic and horrible. It was more destructive in punjab and punjabi–speaking Muslims to pakistan created untold stories of horror. All these happened in a short span of two years between 1946 and 1948. 1½ Impact of partition of India on Bengal: In Bengal, the migration was even longer than usual, with people moving across a porous border. This meant that exchange of population was agonising. Several Bengali Hindus remained in East pakistan while several Bengali Muslims continued to remain in West Bengal. In East pakistan, Jinnah’s two–nation theory was rejected by the Bengali Muslims (East pakistan) and broke from pakistan and Bangladesh was created in 1971-72.
Q.8. “Some scholars see partition as a culmination of communal politics.” Examine the statement.
Ans. Some scholars see partition as a culmination of a communal politics that started developing in the opening decades of the twentieth century. They supported that separate electorates of Muslims, created by the colonial government in 1909 and expanded in 1919, crucially shaped the nature of communal politics. Separate electorates meant that Muslims could now elect their own representative in designated constituencies. This created a temptation for politicians working within this system to use politics by distributing favours to their own religious groups. Religious identities, thus, acquired a minimal use within a modern political system and the logic of electoral politics deepened and hardened these identities. Community identities no longer indicated simple difference in faith and belief; they came to mean active oppression and hostility between communities. However, while separate electorate have a profound impact on Indian politics, we should be careful not to over emphasise their significance or to see partition as a logical outcome of their work or deeds.
Q.9 . Why is the partition of India viewed as an extremely significant marker in the history of India and Pakistan? Explain.
Ans. There are many people in India who do not like pakistan and there are many people in pakistan who do not like India. Both the communities are the result of the partition of country in 1947. Many times, some people in India are mistaken to believe that the Muslims of India are loyal to pakistan. For example, they consider the Muslims to be cruel, communal and dirty. On the other hand, the Hindus are kind, liberal, pure and the victims of aggressions. R. M. Murphy, a journalist, has observed that there are many conservative people in pakistan. He stated that some pakistanis felt that the Muslims were partial, non-vegetarian and believe in one God. But, the Hindus are black, coward, vegetarian, believing in many gods and goddess. Though some of ideas and perceptions were before the partition, still the events of 1947 encouraged and instigated these events. The historians criticise many perceptions over a period of time, still the voice of hatred has not stopped.
Q. 10. “Some people think that partition of India was very sudden.” Justify the statement.
Ans. people didn’t know the reason behind the formation of pakistan and how it would shape people’s future. Many who migrated from their homelands in 1947 thought they would return as soon as peace prevailed. Initially, even Muslim leaders did not seriously raise the demand for pakistan as a sovereign state. Jinnah himself in the beginning saw pakistan idea as a bargaining offer, useful for blocking the offer to Congress and gaining favours for the Muslims. Many Muslim leaders were not serious in their demand for pakistan. In short, the partition took place suddenly. The pressure of the World War - II on the British delayed negotiations for independence.
Q. 11. “Amidst all the turmoil following March 1947, Gandhiji’s valiant efforts bore fruit to bring harmony among the people.” Justify the statement.
Ans. March 1947 onwards, bloodshed continued for almost one year. One of the reasons was the collapse of all government institutions. By end of the year, there was no sign of any administrative system. Whole of the Amirtsar district became a scene of bloodshed. The British officials were unable to handle the situation. Indian sepoys and soldiers came to act as Hindus, Muslims or Sikhs.This increased communal tension in the country. Gandhiji came forward to restore communal harmony. Gandhiji decided to stake all in a bid to indicate his lifelong principle of non-violence and his conviction that people can be changed. He moved from the villages of Noakhali in East Bengal (present Bangladesh) to the villages of Bihar and to the riot–turned slums of Calcutta and Delhi. Everywhere he reassured the minority community, whether the Hindus or the Muslims. He persuaded the local Muslims to guarantee safety of the Hindus and at other places, like Delhi, he tried to build trust between the two communities.
Q.12. “Many historians still remain skeptical of oral history.” Examine the statement.
Ans. Many historians still remain skeptical of oral history. They dismiss it because oral data, at times, lacks correctness and the chronology they yield may be imprecise. Historians argue that the uniqueness of personal experience makes generalisation difficult. A large picture cannot be built from such microevidences and one witness. They also think that oral accounts are related with tangential issues and that small individual experiences which remain in memory are irrelevant for unfolding of large process.