The Great Divide

By Najeeb Kakar


In August, 1947, the Indian sub-continent was partitioned into two independent nation states. Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan. The division of Indian-peninsula was greatly, a fault line which, had been done along the sectarian lines. In the midst, one of the greatest migration took place in the history of human civilization. Millions of Hindus and Sikhs were trekked to India while Muslims headed in the opposite direction. And many millions were killed, tortured, raped and beheaded in the middle-path.

The communal politics across the Indian-peninsula had widen virtually, a gulf between Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. They lived in peaceful coexistence almost, a millennium assaulted each other in a petrifying spate of sectarian violence. Muslims on the one hand while Hindus and Sikhs on the other. Regrettably, a mutualgenocide as unexpected as it was unprecedented happened. It is at least, arguably described that People living pluralistically and calmly has become each other’s rigorous foes at once with the declaration of the division of India.

That terrifying episode was followed by the vicious slogan of “Pakistan Zindabad” (long live Pakistan) and “Jai Hind Jai Hind” (long live India). And there was another terrible Muslim slogan chanted while slaughtering Hindus and Sikhs “Maar-ke-Lenge Pakistan, Mar-ke-Lenge Pakistan, Le-ke-Rahenge Pakistan! NARA-E-Takbir! ALLAH-U-AKBAR!” Which hurriedly fortified mass uprising in the cities and its outskirts. For instance, that, violent outburst has respectively—altered a congenial atmosphere into a bloodshed, incendiarism, mass abduction, forced conversion and ferocious sexual violence.


Bloody Partition of India Picture from BBC In a couple of months in the summer of 1947, a million people were slaughtered on both sides in the religious rioting.
Bloody Partition of India Picture from BBC In a couple of months in the summer of 1947, a million people were slaughtered on both sides in the religious rioting.


Most of the historians conceal the painful and rancorous saga of communal holocaust being done in the outer peripheries of Punjab. “The official historians of the ruling classes both in India and Pakistan have their own interpretations of the struggle for independence, suiting the interests of their bosses. However, this independence came about in the midst of a traumatic partition of the Subcontinent into two truncated states, Pakistan and India, accompanied by a communal holocaust. A frenzy of madness and a ferocious campaign of murder were unleashed on a religious and ethnic basis.” In which millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims have brutally massacred. It were the waves of—communalism that has been quite harshly—spread across India.

The ethnic cleansing and genocide of Muslims and Hindus were started in  Bengal and Bihar in 1946. When both these communities and its barbaric throng had blatantly attacked each other in a fierce bloodbath. They burnt each other’s properties relentlessly so far. It was not the single most event to escape from, but the dishonor of women resulted in a substantial rape cases in Bengal and Bihar. The macabre killing and raping of women compelled thousands of Muslims and Hindus who had fled towards Muslim majority and Hindu Majority districts for their nontoxic endurance.

However, this violent nightmare was again unleashed in March 1947, where over a hundreds of Hindus and Sikh students were inhumanely massacred in Lahore. They had a peaceful protest against the League’s agitation to annihilate the Khizar ministry. The Unionists party was headed by him, who was a staunch advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity. In the 1937 and 1946 elections he headed the ministry of public work. The League leadership ordered the police to scatter the protestors. The police opened an indiscriminate firing at the students and killed many of them.

The waves of frenzy killing of students have reached in the same afternoon to Amritsar, the Sikhs have picked-up the arms, started Muslim genocides and ethnic cleansing in the Amritsar. When words of Amritsar Muslim massacre inflamed riots across India, the barbaric killings of Hindus and Sikhs started in Rawalpindi and Multan. In which 15,000 people were killed in four days and over a hundreds of thousands migrated for their safe survival.   

Rawalpindi and Thoha Khalsa, a village of Kahuta, were home to a substantial Sikh population before the riots of 1947. The Muslim mob surrounded these particular areas and threaten the Sikhs and Hindus on 6 March 1947. However, the actual mass killing of Sikhs had been started on 7 March, the Sikhs and Hindus were butchered and their women were raped. When the matter of dishonor become rampant, many Sikhs had themselves killed their females, while on numerous occasions, the Sikh women committed suicide in the protection their honour. It was such madness and utmost barbarity, when Sikh women jumping into the well at Thoha Khalsa from Muslim mob and savagery. A well filled-up in an hour of the women bodies.


The actual mass killing of Sikhs had been started on 7 March, the Sikhs and Hindus were butchered and their women were raped.


The Sikhs and Hindus have left Rawalpindi and Thoha Khalsa and had migrated towards Amritsar and other Hindu majority areas to save their lives. The tragedy of partition witnessed a savage sexual violence on both sides. In which, around 75,000 women were raped, which is the most fierce estimate in the history of human civilization. It has left numerous agonies—and impacts relatively on the human life.

These ever-increased cruelty ignited lingering agonies which swelled in both sides. Gangs of killer aflame villages, “hacking to death” men and children while picking off women to be raped. An eye witnessed account revealed that the unabated ferocity obliged pregnant women, who had cut off their breasts and “babies hacked out of their bellies.” That was a ferocious sexual campaign accompanied by madness frenzy. For which all the three communities were equally responsible along with their colonial masters.

Nonetheless, this blame-game is obviously neglected in the pages of historiography in Pakistan. All the communities were responsible for this monstrous, because all three communities were busy at the making of their private armies. The colonial government knew about these private armies supported by few communalist leaders of the Congress and the League. But it did nothing to preclude anxieties, ethnic communalism and religious violence. Moreover, they had delivered arms to ethnic terrorists in a persistent manner. So that persistent mannerism was later on resulted in ethnic cleansing—and mutual genocide.

However, the Muslims are more blamable, because they sought the division of India. They were interested at the establishment of new nation state for the Muslims. But they did not form one independent state for the Indian Muslims. Today they are scattered in Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. Therefore, the Muslim leadership lost what they thought to accomplish, but the congress leadership had won those which they never dreamed and realized.

Najeeb Kakar is a freelance writer and researcher interested in politics, society, history and terrorism. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter@najeebkakar19 and Facebook.


  • mohanrr

    The intellectual origins of Pakistan are derived from the 16th century Islamic scholar from Punjab, Ahmad Al-Sirhindi. A prominent member of Naqsbandi Sufi order, Sirhindi, loudly denounced Akbar’s eclectic beliefs and his liberal attitude. In order to understand the subsequent history of Pakistan, therefore, it may be more instructive to read Sirhindi rather than Jinnah.