रेडक्लिफ कमीशन, शर्णार्थिब्सलाब और नागरिकता का मसला
मुर्शिदाबाद और मालदा जिलों में विभाजन के बाद तीन दिनों तक पाकिस्तान का झंडा फहराया जाता रहा तो खुलना में भारत का।
खुलना का हिन्दू बहुल जिला मुर्शिदाबाद और मालदा के बदले पाकिस्तान को दे दिया गया।
इसीतरह सिलहट का हिन्दुबहुल जिला पाकिस्तान को। चटगांव आदिवासी बौद्ध इलाका था।जिसमे जनसंख्या का 97 प्रतिशत चकमा बौद्ध आदिवासियों का था। सन 1900 से यह आदुवासी इलाका एक्सक्लुडेड एरिया था।बंगाल या असम में न होने के कारण असेम्बली में चटगांव का कोई प्रतिनिधित्व नहीं था।
चटगांव के रंगमाटी में 15 अगस्त को भारत का झंडा फहराया गया। आदिवासियों का प्रतिनिधिमंडल ने दिल्ली जाकर भारत में बने रहने की मांग की ।लेकिन उनकी कोई सुनवाई नहीं हुई।
रेडक्लिफ कमीशन ने हफ्तेभर के कम समय में भारत पाकिस्तान की सीमाएं कांग्रेस और मुस्लिम लीग के जमींदार नेताओं की सैदेबाजी से तय किया।
10 अगस्त से 12 अगस्त तक सीमाएं तय कर दी गई। जिसकी जानकारी कांग्रेस और मुस्लिम लीग के शीर्ष नेताओं को थी।लेलिन रेडक्लिफ कमीशन की रिपोर्ट 17 अगस्त कों प्रकाशित हुई।
इससे सीमा के आर पार भारी अराजकता फैल गयी। हिन्दू बभूलनिलकों में मुसलमानों के खिलाफ और मुस्लिम बहुल इलाकों में हिंदुओं के खिलाफ दंगे शुरू हो गए। बंगाल में कोलकाता, नदिया,मालदा,मुर्शिदाबाद, 24 परगना और हावड़ा में दंगे शुरू हो गए।
पूर्वी बंगाल में पाकिस्तान के समर्थन में कोई आंदोलन नहीं था।कोलकाता और पश्चिमनबंगल में पाकिस्तान समर्थक ज्यादा थे और उत्तर प्रदेश और बिहार में भी। जो अंततः भारत में रह गए।
इसकी भारी कीमत पूर्वी बंगाल के खुलना, जैशोर, फरीदपुर,बरीशाल, कुमिल्ला, व्हटगांव जैसे जिलों को 1947 सेव1964 तक,1971 से लेकर अभीतक चुकानी पड़ी। झाने से शरणार्थियों का सैलाब आज भी नही रुक रहा।
पूर्वी बंगाल के बंगाली हिन्दू मुसलमानों में कोई तनाव नही था। लेकिन बिहार और पसजचिम बंगाल से विभाजन के बाद वहां पहुंचे पाकिस्तान समर्थक उर्दूभाषी मुसलमानों के वहां पहुंचने पर हिंदुओं के खिलाफ कभी न थमने वाला उत्पीड़न शुरू हो गया।
1971 में इन्ही पाकिसयं समर्थकों ने रज़ाकर वाहिनी बनाकर बंगाली हिंदुओं और मुसलमानों का कत्लेआम पाकिस्तानी फौजों के साथ मिलकर किया।
बांग्लादेश बनने के बाद ये पाकिस्तान समर्थक तत्व लगातार मजबूत होते गए। जिसके खिलाफ बांग्लादेश की धर्मनिरपेक्ष ताकतें लड़ रही हैं।लेकिन अल्पसंख्यकों का उत्पीड़न रुक नहीं रहा।
शरणार्थी 2021 में भी आ रहे हैं।
इस समस्या के स्थायी समाधान के बिना भारत में नागरिकता का मसला अनसुलझा ही रहेगा।
1947 के बाद आये और जन्मजात भारतीय नागरिकों की नागरिकता छीनकर इस समस्या को और उलझा डियां गया है,जो किसी नागरिकता कानून संशोधन या गैर मुसलमानों को एकतरफा नागरिकता दिए जाने से सुलझेगी नहीं।क्योंकि शरणार्थी समस्या के कारण बंगाल, असम,त्रिपुरा और पूर्वोत्तर में जनसंख्या समीकरण सिरे से बदल गए हैं और सत्ता की राजनीति जनसंख्या केंद्रित है।
The Radcliffe Line was the boundary demarcation line between the Indian and Pakistani portions of the Punjab and Bengal provinces of British India. It was named after its architect, Sir Cyril Radcliffe, who, as the joint chairman of the two boundary commissions for the two provinces, received the responsibility to equitably divide 175,000 square miles (450,000 km2) of territory with 88 million people.
The regions affected by the extended Partition of India: green regions were all part of Pakistan by 1948, and orange part of India. The darker-shaded regions represent the Punjab and Bengal provinces partitioned by the Radcliffe Line. The grey areas represent some of the key princely states that were eventually integrated into India or Pakistan, but others which initially became independent are not shown.
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The demarcation line was published on 17 August 1947 upon the Partition of India. Today its western side still serves as the Indo-Pakistan border and the eastern side serves as the India-Bangladesh border. It is 3,323 km long.
Process and key people Edit
A crude border had already been drawn up by Lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India prior to his replacement as Viceroy, in February 1947, by Lord Louis Mountbatten. In order to determine exactly which territories to assign to each country, in June 1947, Britain appointed Sir Cyril Radcliffe to chair two boundary commissions—one for Bengal and one for Punjab.
The commission was instructed to "demarcate the boundaries of the two parts of the Punjab on the basis of ascertaining the contiguous majority areas of Muslims and non-Muslims. In doing so, it will also take into account other factors." Other factors were undefined, giving Radcliffe leeway, but included decisions regarding "natural boundaries, communications, watercourses and irrigation systems", as well as socio-political consideration. Each commission also had four representatives—two from the Indian National Congress and two from the Muslim League. Given the deadlock between the interests of the two sides and their rancorous relationship, the final decision was essentially Radcliffe's.
After arriving in India on 8 July 1947, Radcliffe was given just five weeks to decide on a border. He soon met with his fellow college alumnus Mountbatten and travelled to Lahore and Calcutta to meet with commission members, chiefly Nehru from the Congress and Jinnah, president of the Muslim League. He objected to the short time frame, but all parties were insistent that the line be finished by 15 August British withdrawal from India. Mountbatten had accepted the post as Viceroy on the condition of an early deadline. The decision was completed just a couple of days before the withdrawal, but due to political manoeuvring, not published until 17 August 1947, two days after the grant of independence to India and Pakistan.
Members of the commissions Edit
Each boundary commission consisted of five people – a chairman (Radcliffe), two members nominated by the Indian National Congress and two members nominated by the Muslim League.
The Bengal Boundary Commission consisted of justices C. C. Biswas, B. K. Mukherji, Abu Saleh Mohamed Akram and S.A.Rahman.
The members of the Punjab Commission were justices Mehr Chand Mahajan, Teja Singh, Din Mohamed and Muhammad Munir.
Problems in the process Edit
Boundary-making procedures Edit
The Punjabi section of the Radcliffe Line
All lawyers by profession, Radcliffe and the other commissioners had all of the polish and none of the specialized knowledge needed for the task. They had no advisers to inform them of the well-established procedures and information needed to draw a boundary. Nor was there time to gather the survey and regional information. The absence of some experts and advisers, such as the United Nations, was deliberate, to avoid delay. Britain's new Labour government "deep in wartime debt, simply couldn’t afford to hold on to its increasingly unstable empire." "The absence of outside participants—for example, from the United Nations—also satisfied the British Government's urgent desire to save face by avoiding the appearance that it required outside help to govern—or stop governing—its own empire."
Political representation Edit
The equal representation given to politicians from Indian National Congress and the Muslim League appeared to provide balance, but instead created deadlock. The relationships were so tendentious that the judges "could hardly bear to speak to each other", and the agendas so at odds that there seemed to be little point anyway. Even worse, "the wife and two children of the Sikh judge in Lahore had been murdered by Muslims in Rawalpindi a few weeks earlier."
In fact, minimizing the numbers of Hindus and Muslims on the wrong side of the line was not the only concern to balance. The Punjab Border Commission was to draw a border through the middle of an area home to the Sikh community. Lord Islay was rueful for the British not to give more consideration to the community who, in his words, had "provided many thousands of splendid recruits for the Indian Army" in its service for the crown in World War I. However, the Sikhs were militant in their opposition to any solution which would put their community in a Muslim ruled state. Moreover, many insisted on their own sovereign state, something no one else would agree to.
Last of all, were the communities without any representation. The Bengal Border Commission representatives were chiefly concerned with the question of who would get Calcutta. The Buddhist tribes in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bengal had no official representation and were left totally without information to prepare for their situation until two days after the partition.
Perceiving the situation as intractable and urgent, Radcliffe went on to make all the difficult decisions himself. This was impossible from inception, but Radcliffe seems to have had no doubt in himself and raised no official complaint or proposal to change the circumstances.
Local knowledge Edit
Before his appointment, Radcliffe had never visited India and knew no one there. To the British and the feuding politicians alike, this neutrality was looked upon as an asset; he was considered to be unbiased toward any of the parties, except of course Britain. Only his private secretary, Christopher Beaumont, was familiar with the administration and life in the Punjab. Wanting to preserve the appearance of impartiality, Radcliffe also kept his distance from Viceroy Mountbatten.
No amount of knowledge could produce a line that would completely avoid conflict; already, "sectarian riots in Punjab and Bengal dimmed hopes for a quick and dignified British withdrawal". "Many of the seeds of postcolonial disorder in South Asia were sown much earlier, in a century and half of direct and indirect British control of large part of the region, but, as book after book has demonstrated, nothing in the complex tragedy of partition was inevitable."
Haste and indifference Edit
Radcliffe justified the casual division with the truism that no matter what he did, people would suffer. The thinking behind this justification may never be known since Radcliffe "destroyed all his papers before he left India". He departed on Independence Day itself, before even the boundary awards were distributed. By his own admission, Radcliffe was heavily influenced by his lack of fitness for the Indian climate and his eagerness to depart India.
The implementation was no less hasty than the process of drawing the border. On 16 August 1947 at 5:00 pm, the Indian and Pakistani representatives were given two hours to study copies, before the Radcliffe award was published on 17 August.
To avoid disputes and delays, the division was done in secret. The final Awards were ready on 9 and 12 August, but not published until two days after the partition.
According to Read and Fisher, there is some circumstantial evidence that Nehru and Patel were secretly informed of the Punjab Award's contents on 9 or 10 August, either through Mountbatten or Radcliffe's Indian assistant secretary. Regardless of how it transpired, the award was changed to put a salient east of the Sutlej canal within India's domain instead of Pakistan's. This area consisted of two Muslim-majority tehsils with a combined population of over half a million. There were two apparent reasons for the switch: the area housed an army arms depot, and contained the headwaters of a canal which irrigated the princely state of Bikaner, which would accede to India.
After the partition, the fledgling governments of India and Pakistan were left with all responsibility to implement the border. After visiting Lahore in August, Viceroy Mountbatten hastily arranged a Punjab Boundary Force to keep the peace around Lahore, but 50,000 men was not enough to prevent thousands of killings, 77% of which were in the rural areas. Given the size of the territory, the force amounted to less than one soldier per square mile. This was not enough to protect the cities much less the caravans of the hundreds of thousands of refugees who were fleeing their homes in what would become Pakistan.
Both India and Pakistan were loath to violate the agreement by supporting the rebellions of villages drawn on the wrong side of the border, as this could prompt a loss of face on the international stage and require the British or the UN to intervene. Border conflicts led to three wars, in 1947, 1965, and 1971, and the Kargil conflict of 1999.
Disputes along the Radcliffe Line Edit
There were disputes regarding the Radcliffe Line's award of the Chittagong Hill Tracts and the Gurdaspur district. Disputes also evolved around the districts of Malda, Khulna, and Murshidabad in Bengal and the sub-division of Karimganj of Assam.
In addition to Gurdaspur's Muslim majority tehsils, Radcliffe also gave the Muslim majority tehsils of Ajnala (Amritsar District), Zira, Ferozpur (in Ferozpur District), Nakodar and Jullander (in Jullander District) to India instead of Pakistan.
Lahore having Muslims in majority with about 64.5% percent but Hindus and Sikhs controlled approximately 80% of city's assets, Radcliffe had originally planned to give Lahore to India. When speaking with journalist Kuldip Nayar, he stated "I nearly gave you Lahore. ... But then I realised that Pakistan would not have any large city. I had already earmarked Calcutta for India." When Sir Cyril Radcliffe was told that “the Muslims in Pakistan have a grievance that [he] favoured India”, he replied, “they should be thankful to me because I went out of the way to give them Lahore which deserved to go to India.”
Ferozpur District Edit
Indian historians now accept that Mountbatten probably did influence the Ferozpur award in India's favour. The headworks of River Beas, which later joins River Sutlej flowing into Pakistan, were located in Ferozepur. Congress leader Nehru and Viceroy Mountbatten had lobbied Radcliffe that headworks should not go to Pakistan.
Gurdaspur District Edit
Under British control, the Gurdaspur district was the northernmost district of the Punjab Province. The district itself was administratively subdivided into four tehsils: Shakargarh and Pathankot tehsils to the north, and Gurdaspur and Batala tehsils to the south. Of the four, only the Shakargarh tehsil, which was separated from the rest of the district by the Ravi river, was awarded to Pakistan. (It was subsequently merged into the Narowal district of West Punjab.) The Gurdaspur, Batala and Pathankot tehsils became part of India's East Punjab state. The division of the district was followed by a population transfer between the two nations, with Muslims leaving for Pakistan and Hindus and Sikhs leaving for India.
The entire district of Gurdaspur had a bare majority of 50.2% Muslims. (In the `notional' award attached to the Indian Independence Act, all of Gurdaspur district was marked as Pakistan with 51.14% Muslim majority. In the 1901 census, the population of Gurdaspur district was 49% Muslim, 40% Hindu, and 10% Sikh.) The Pathankot tehsil was predominantly Hindu while the other three tehsils were Muslim majority. In the event, only Shakargarh was awarded to Pakistan.
Radcliffe explained that the reason for deviating from the notional award in case of Gurdaspur was that the headwaters of the canals that irrigated the Amritsar district lay in the Gurdaspur district and it was important to keep them under one administration. Lord Wavell had stated in February 1946 that Gurdaspur had to go with the Amritsar district, and the latter could not be in Pakistan due to its Sikh religious shrines. In addition, the railway line from Amritsar to Pathankot passed through the Batala and Gurdaspur tehsils.
Pakistanis have alleged that the award of the three tehsils to India was a manipulation of the Award by Lord Mountbatten in an effort to provide a land route for India to Jammu and Kashmir. However, Shereen Ilahi points out that the land route to Kashmir was entirely within the Pathankot tehsil, which had a Hindu majority. The award of the Batala and Gurdaspur tehsils to India did not affect Kashmir.
Pakistani view on the award of Gurdaspur to India Edit
Pakistan maintains that the Radcliffe Award was altered by Mountbatten; Gurdaspur was handed over to India and thus was manipulated the accession of Kashmir to India.[failed verification] In support of this view, some scholars claim the award to India "had little to do with Sikh demands but had much more to do with providing India a road link to Jammu and Kashmir."
As per the 'notional' award that had already been put into effect for purposes of administration ad interim, all of Gurdaspur district, owing to its Muslim majority, was assigned to Pakistan. From 14 to 17 August, Mushtaq Ahmed Cheema acted as the Deputy Commissioner of the Gurdaspur District, but when, after a delay of two days, it was announced that the major portion of the district had been awarded to India instead of Pakistan, Cheema left for Pakistan. The major part of Gurdaspur district, i.e. three of the four sub-districts had been handed over to India giving India practical land access to Kashmir. It came as a great blow to Pakistan. Jinnah and other leaders of Pakistan, and particularly its officials, criticized the award as 'extremely unjust and unfair'.[need quotation to verify]
Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, who represented the Muslim League in July 1947 before the Radcliffe Boundary Commission, stated that the boundary commission was a farce. A secret deal between Mountbatten and Congress leaders had already been struck. Mehr Chand Mahajan, one of the two non-Muslim members of the boundary commission, in his autobiography, has acknowledged that when he was selected for the boundary commission, he was not inclined to accept the invitation as he believed that the commission was just a farce and that decisions were actually to be taken by Mountbatten himself. It was only under British pressure that the charges against Mountbatten of last minute alterations in the Radcliffe Award were not officially brought forward by Pakistani Government in the UN Security Council while presenting its case on Kashmir.
Zafrullah Khan states that, in actual fact, adopting the tehsil as a unit would have given Pakistan the Ferozepur and Zira tehsils of the Ferozpur District, the Jullundur and Rahon tehsils of Jullundur district and the Dasuya tehsil of the Hoshiarpur district. The line so drawn would also give Pakistan the State of Kapurthala (which had a Muslim majority) and would enclose within Pakistan the whole of the Amritsar district of which only one tehsil, Ajnala, had a Muslim majority. It would also give Pakistan the Shakargarh, Batala and Gurdaspur tehsils of the Gurdaspur district. If the boundary went by Doabs, Pakistan could get not only the 16 districts which had already under the notional partition been put into West Punjab, including the Gurdaspur District, but also get the Kangra District in the mountains, to the north and east of Gurdaspur. Or one could go by commissioners' divisions. Any of these units being adopted would have been more favourable to Pakistan than the present boundary line. The tehsil was the most favourable unit. But all of the aforementioned Muslim majority tehsils, with the exception of Shakargarh, were handed over to India while Pakistan didn't receive any Non-Muslim majority district or tehsil in Punjab. Zafruallh Khan states that Radcliffe used district, tehsil, thana, and even village boundaries to divide Punjab in such a way that the boundary line was drawn much to the prejudice of Pakistan. However, while Muslims formed about 53% of the total population of Punjab in 1941, Pakistan received around 58% of the total area of the Punjab, including the most fertile parts of it.
According to Zafrullah Khan, the assertion that the award of the Batala and Gurdaspur tehsils to India did not 'affect' Kashmir is far-fetched. If Batala and Gurdaspur had gone to Pakistan, Pathankot tehsil would have been isolated and blocked. Even though it would have been possible for India to get access to Pathankot through the Hoshiarpur district, it would have taken quite long time to construct the roads, bridges and communications that would have been necessary for military movements.
Assessments on the 'Controversial Award of Gurdaspur to India and the Kashmir Dispute' Edit
Stanley Wolpert writes that Radcliffe in his initial maps awarded Gurdaspur district to Pakistan but one of Nehru’s and Mountbatten’s greatest concerns over the new Punjab border was to make sure that Gurdaspur would not go to Pakistan, since that would have deprived India of direct road access to Kashmir. As per "The Different Aspects of Islamic Culture", a part of UNESCO’s Histories flagship project, recently disclosed documents of the history of the partition reveal British complicity with the top Indian leadership to wrest Kashmir from Pakistan. Alastair Lamb, based on the study of recently declassified documents, has convincingly proven that Mountbatten, in league with Nehru, was instrumental in pressurizing Radcliffe to award the Muslim-majority district of Gurdaspur in East Punjab to India which could provide India with the only possible access to Kashmir. Andrew Roberts believes that Mountbatten cheated over India-Pak frontier and states that if gerrymandering took place in the case of Ferozepur, it is not too hard to believe that Mountbatten also pressurized Radcliffe to ensure that Gurdaspur wound up in India to give India road access to Kashmir.
Perry Anderson states that Mountbatten, who was officially supposed to neither exercise any influence on Radcliffe nor to have any knowledge of his findings, intervened behind the scenes – probably at Nehru’s behest – to alter the award. He had little difficulty in getting Radcliffe to change his boundaries to allot the Muslim-majority district of Gurdaspur to India instead of Pakistan, thus giving India the only road access from Delhi to Kashmir.
However, some British works suggest that the 'Kashmir State was not in anybody's mind' when the Award was being drawn and that even the Pakistanis themselves had not realized the importance of Gurdaspur to Kashmir until the Indian forces actually entered Kashmir. Both Mountbatten and Radcliffe, of course, have strongly denied those charges. It is impossible to accurately quantify the personal responsibility for the tragedy of Kashmir as the Mountbatten papers relating to the issue at the India Office Library and records are closed to scholars for an indefinite period.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (August 2020)
Chittagong Hill Tracts Edit
Chittagong Hill Tracts had a majority non-Muslim population of 97% (most of them Buddhists), but was given to Pakistan. The Chittagong Hill Tracts People's Association (CHTPA) petitioned the Bengal Boundary Commission that, since the CHTs were inhabited largely by non-Muslims, they should remain within India. Chittagong Hill Tracts was an excluded area since 1900 and was not part of Bengal. It had no representative at the Bengal Legislative Assembly in Calcutta, since it was not part of Bengal. Since they had no official representation, there was no official discussion on the matter, and many on the Indian side assumed the CHT would be awarded to India.
On 15 August 1947, Chakma and other indigenous Buddhists celebrated independence day by hoisting Indian flag in Rangamati, the capital of Chittagong Hill Tracts. When the boundaries of Pakistan and India were announced by radio on 17 August 1947, they were shocked to know that the Chittagong Hill Tracts had been awarded to Pakistan. The Baluch Regiment of the Pakistani Army entered Chittagong Hill Tracts a week later and lowered the Indian flag at gun point. The rationale of giving the Chittagong Hill Tracts to Pakistan was that they were inaccessible to India and to provide a substantial rural buffer to support Chittagong (now in Bangladesh), a major city and port; advocates for Pakistan forcefully argued to the Bengal Boundary Commission that the only approach was through Chittagong.
The indigenous people sent a delegation led by Sneha Kumar Chakma to Delhi to seek help from the Indian leadership. Sneha Kumar Chakma contacted Sardar Patel by phone. Sardar Patel was willing to help, but insisted Sneha Kumar Chakma to seek assistance from Prime Minister Pandit Nehru. But Nehru refused to help fearing that military conflict for Chittagong Hill Tracts might draw the British back to India.
Malda District Edit
Another disputed decision made by Radcliffe was division of the Malda district of Bengal. The district overall had a slight Muslim majority, but was divided and most of it, including Malda town, went to India. The district remained under East Pakistan administration for 3–4 days after 15 August 1947. It was only when the award was made public that the Pakistani flag was replaced by the Indian flag in Malda.
Khulna and Murshidabad Districts Edit
The Khulna District with a marginal Hindu majority of 51% was given to East Pakistan in lieu of the Murshidabad district with a 70% Muslim majority, which went to India. However, Pakistani flag remained hoisted in Murshidabad for three days until it was replaced by Indian flag on the afternoon of 17 August 1947.
Sylhet district of Assam joined Pakistan in accordance with a referendum. However, the Karimganj sub-division with a Muslim majority was severed from Sylhet and given to India which became a district in 1983. As of the 2001 Indian Census, Karimganj district now has a Muslim majority of 52.3%.
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Partition of India
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