Why was India partitioned?

by Ben Alford

Lord Mountbatten was appointed as new Viceroy, in February 1947. He was indeed the last Viceroy of India. He took office in mid February 1947 and acted as advisory to the prime minister, Clement Attlee. Mountbatten advised that a date should be set for independence. The decision was made that the British would leave at midnight on 28 August 1947.


Why was India partitioned?

• Direct Action was a major factor in leading to the decision of the British and the last viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, to agree on partition and to attempt to bring independence as soon as possible.

• Because of the extent of communal violence Lord Mountbatten was convinced that a united India was practically impossible. He therefore announced that instead two countries would be created, named India and Pakistan.

• The decision to leave put pressure on Congress to accept the partition of India. Congress decided to accepted the idea of Pakistan furthermore Jinnah agreed to the division of Bengal and the Punjab, which originally he had wanted to be entirely within Pakistan.

• In order to reduce the communal violence and other border issues,Lord Mountbatten brought forward the date of Independence by 14 days to midnight on 14 August.

• Lord Mountbatten decided to set up the Radcliffe Commission to attempt to fix the borders between the two countries. This drew up a geographical border line between India and Pakistan in less than 3 months


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