|The present volume, first in a three-volume study, objectively documents
the critical factors that led to the partition of the Indian sub-continent. The 579
original documents included in this volume were collected mainly from the private and
public archives in India, Pakistan and the United Kingdom. These documents delve into the
five paradoxical questions concerning partition:
1. What led to the reversal of the British Colonial Policy from a well-celebrated
"divide and rule" to "divide and quit"?
2. Why did Jinnah, known to be a liberal secular nationalist till 1930s, become a staunch
advocate of Muslim separatist movement?
3. Which factors led the Muslim League into political prominence?
4. Why did the Congress accept, with seeming alacrity, the Mountbatten Plan, relinquishing
its vaunted principle of national unity and integrity?
5. Lastly, why did the bhadralok, which once opposed the Partition of Bengal in 1905,
spearhead the agitation for the second partition of Bengal in 1947?
The story of partition generally revolves round the political activities of two
organizations -- the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League. What is usually
overlooked is the separatist role played by the rightist and bourgeois sections of Hindus
and Muslims. The book, besides documenting the significant activities of the Congress and
the League, also modestly tries to enlist the activities of different rightist and
These documents account the events that occurred between 1937 and 1939. Least to mention,
this was the period in which Hindu-Muslim relations were ultimately put to a litmus test,
but most unfortunately, leading to the formation of two separate nations. An integrated
study of the selected original documents of this period, together with a comprehensive
editorial introduction, exhaustive apparatus criticus and a detailed bibliography, would
surely help the historians to shape their own objective assessment of the partition of the
Indian sub-continent. It is this aspect which makes the present volume a different and
illuminating book on Indian history.
Manak Publications, Delhi, 1998
ISBN No. 81-86562-48-6 Rs.2950/-
1. Governing Council.
2. Principle Holders of Office.
3. Summary of Documents.
5. Text of Documents.
8. Index of Persons.
9. Index of Subjects.