The partition of India
The partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics. This led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan (that later split again into the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh) and the Union of India (later Republic of India). Indian Independence Act 1947 had decided 15 August 1947 as the appointed date for the partition. However Pakistan came into existence a day earlier on 14 August.
The partition of India was set forth in the Indian Independence Act 1947 and resulted in the dissolution of the British Indian Empireand the end of the British Raj. It resulted in a struggle between the new states of India and Pakistan and displaced up to 12.5 million people with estimates of loss of life varying from several hundred thousand to a million (most estimates of the numbers of people who crossed the boundaries between India and Pakistan in 1947 range between 10 and 12 million). The violent nature of the partition created an atmosphere of mutual hostility and suspicion between India and Pakistan that plagues their relationship to this day.
The partition included the geographical division of the Bengal province into East Bengal, which became part of the Dominion of Pakistan (from 1956, East Pakistan). West Bengal became part of India, and a similar partition of the Punjab province becameWest Punjab (later the Pakistani Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory) and East Punjab (later the Indian Punjab, as well asHaryana and Himachal Pradesh). The partition agreement also included the division of Indian government assets, including theIndian Civil Service, the Indian Army, the Royal Indian Navy, the Indian railways and the central treasury, and other administrative services.
The two self-governing countries of India and Pakistan legally came into existence at the stroke of midnight on 14-15 August 1947. The ceremonies for the transfer of power were held a day earlier in Karachi, at the time the capital of the new state of Pakistan, so that the last British Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten of Burma, could attend both the ceremony in Karachi and the ceremony in Delhi. This is why Pakistan’s Independence Day is celebrated on 14 August and India’s on 15 August.
The All India Muslim League (AIML) had been formed in Dhaka in 1906 by Muslims who were suspicious of the Hindu-majority Indian National Congress. They complained that Muslim members did not have the same rights as Hindu members. A number of different scenarios were proposed at various times. Among the first to make the demand for a separate state was the writer and philosopherAllama Iqbal, who, in his presidential address to the 1930 convention of the Muslim League, proposed a separate nation for Muslims was essential in an otherwise Hindu-dominated subcontinent. According to Iqbal, such a separation was imminent in a near future, according to his vision.
The Sindh Assembly passed a resolution making it a separate nation a demand in 1935. Iqbal, Jouhar and others worked hard to draft a resolution, working with Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who had until then worked for Hindu-Muslim unity and who now was to lead the movement for this new nation. By 1930, Jinnah had begun to despair at the fate of minority communities in a united India and had begun to argue that mainstream parties such as the Congress, of which he was once a member, were insensitive to Muslim interests.
The 1932 Communal Award which seemed to threaten the position of Muslims in Hindu- majority provinces catalysed the resurgence of the Muslim League, with Jinnah as its leader. However, the League did not do well in the 1937 provincial elections, demonstrating the hold of the conservative and local forces at the time.
In 1940, Jinnah made a statement at the Lahore conference that seemed to call for a separate Muslim nation. This idea, though, was taken up by Muslims and particularly by Hindus in the next seven years, and became a more territorial plan. All Muslim political parties including the Khaksar Tehrik and Allama Mashriqi opposed the partition of India Mashriqi was arrested on 19 March 1940.
Savarkar strongly opposed the partition of India. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar summaries Savarkar’s position, in his Pakistan or The Partition of India as follows,
|“||Mr. Savarkar… insists that, although there are two nations in India, India shall not be divided into two parts, one for Muslims and the other for the Hindus; that the two nations shall dwell in one country and shall live under the mantle of one single constitution;… In the struggle for political power between the two nations the rule of the game which Mr. Savarkar prescribes is to be one man one vote, be the man Hindu or Muslim. In his scheme a Muslim is to have no advantage which a Hindu does not have. Minority is to be no justification for privilege and majority is to be no ground for penalty. The State will guarantee the Muslims any defined measure of political power in the form of Muslim religion and Muslim culture. But the State will not guarantee secured seats in the Legislature or in the Administration and, if such guarantee is insisted upon by the Muslims, such guaranteed quota is not to exceed their proportion to the general population.|
Rural Sikhs in a long ox-cart train headed towards India. 1947. Margaret Bourke-White.
An old Sikh man carrying his wife. Over 10 million people were uprooted from their homeland and travelled on foot, bullock carts and trains to their promised new home.
Most of the Congress leaders were secularists and resolutely opposed the division of India on the lines of religion. Mohandas Gandhi andAllama Mashriqi believed that Hindus and Muslims could and should live in amity. Gandhi opposed the partition, saying, “My whole soul rebels against the idea that Hinduism and Islam represent two antagonistic cultures and doctrines. To assent to such a doctrine is for me a denial of God.”
For years, Gandhi and his adherents struggled to keep Muslims in the Congress Party (a major exit of many Muslim activists began in the 1930s), and in the process enraged both Hindu Nationalists and Indian Muslim nationalists. Gandhi was assassinated soon after Partition by Hindu nationalist Nathuram Godse, who believed that Gandhi was appeasing Muslims at the cost of Hindus.
Politicians and community leaders on both sides whipped up mutual suspicion and fear, culminating in dreadful events such as the riots during the Muslim League’s Direct Action Day of August 1946 in Kolkata (then “Calcutta”), in which more than 5,000 people were killed and many more injured. As public order broke down all across northern India and Bengal, the pressure increased to seek a political partition of territories as a way to avoid a full-scale civil war.
Until 1940, the definition of Pakistan as demanded by the League was so flexible that it could have been interpreted as a sovereign nation or as a member of a confederated India.
Some historians believe Jinnah intended to use the threat of partition as a bargaining chip in order to gain more independence for the Muslim dominated provinces in the west from the Hindu-dominated center.
Other historians claim that Jinnah’s real vision was for a Pakistan that extended into Hindu-majority areas of India, by demanding the inclusion of the East of Punjab and West of Bengal, including Assam, a Hindu-majority region. Jinnah also fought hard for the annexation ofKashmir, a Muslim majority state with Hindu ruler; and the accession of Hyderabad andJunagadh, Hindu-majority states with Muslim rulers.
The British colonial administration did not directly rule all of “India”. There were several different political arrangements in existence: Provinces were ruled directly and the Princely States with varying legal arrangements, like paramountcy.
The British Colonial Administration consisted of Secretary of State for India, the India Office, the Governor-General of India, and the Indian Civil Service. The British were in favour of keeping the area united. The 1946 Cabinet Mission was sent to try and reach a compromise between Congress and the Muslim League. A compromise proposing a decentralized state with much power given to local governments won initial acceptance, but Nehru was unwilling to accept such a decentralized state and Jinnah soon returned to demanding an independent Pakistan.
The Indian political parties were the following: All India Muslim League, Communist Party of India, Majlis-e-Ahrar-ul-Islam, Hindu Mahasabha, Indian National Congress, Khaksar Tehrik, and Unionist Muslim League (mainly in the Punjab).
The actual division of British India between the two new dominions was accomplished according to what has come to be known as the 3 June Plan or Mountbatten Plan. It was announced at a press conference by Mountbatten on 3 June 1947, when the date of independence was also announced – 15 August 1947. The plan’s main points were:
Hindus and Muslims in Punjab and Bengal legislative assemblies would meet and vote for partition. If a simple majority of either group wanted partition, then these provinces would be divided.
Sindh was to take its own decision.
The fate of North West Frontier Province and Sylhet district of Bengal was to be decided by a referendum.
India would be independent by 15 August 1947.
The separate independence of Bengal also ruled out.
A boundary commission to be set up in case of partition.
The Indian political leaders accepted the Plan on 2 June. It did not deal with the question of the princely states, but on 3 June Mountbatten advised them against remaining independent and urged them to join one of the two new dominions.
The Muslim league’s demands for a separate state were thus conceded. The Congress’ position on unity was also taken into account while making Pakistan as small as possible. Mountbatten’s formula was to divide India and at the same time retain maximum possible unity.
Within British India, the border between India and Pakistan (the Radcliffe Line) was determined by a British Government-commissioned report prepared under the chairmanship of a London barrister, Sir Cyril Radcliffe. Pakistan came into being with two non-contiguous enclaves, East Pakistan (today Bangladesh) and West Pakistan, separated geographically by India. India was formed out of the majority Hindu regions of British India, and Pakistan from the majority Muslim areas.
Countries of the modern Indian subcontinent
On 18 July 1947, the British Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act that finalized the arrangements for partition and abandoned British suzerainty over the princely states, of which there were several hundred, leaving them free to choose whether to accede to one of the new dominions. The Government of India Act 1935 was adapted to provide a legal framework for the new dominions.
Following its creation as a new country in August 1947, Pakistan applied for membership of the United Nations and was accepted by the General Assembly on 30 September 1947. The Union of India continued to have the existing seat as India had been a founding member of the United Nations since 1945.
The Punjab – the region of the five rivers east of Indus: Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej — consists of interfluvial doabs, or tracts of land lying between two confluent rivers. These are theSind-Sagar doab (between Indus and Jhelum), the Jech doab (Jhelum/Chenab), the Rechna doab (Chenab/Ravi), the Bari doab (Ravi/Beas), and the Bist doab (Beas/Sutlej) (see map). In early 1947, in the months leading up to the deliberations of the Punjab Boundary Commission, the main disputed areas appeared to be in the Bari and Bist doabs, although some areas in the Rechna doab were claimed by the Congress and Sikhs. In the Bari doab, the districts of Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Lahore, and Montgomery (Sahiwal) were all disputed.
All districts (other than Amritsar, which was 46.5% Muslim) had Muslim majorities; albeit, in Gurdaspur, the Muslim majority, at 51.1%, was slender. At a smaller area-scale, only three tehsils (sub-units of a district) in the Bari doab had non-Muslim majorities. These were: Pathankot (in the extreme north of Gurdaspur, which was not in dispute), and Amritsar and Tarn Taran in Amritsar district. In addition, there were four Muslim-majority tehsils east of Beas-Sutlej (with two where Muslims outnumbered Hindus and Sikhs together).
The claims (Congress/Sikh and Muslim) and the Boundary Commission Award in the Punjab in relation to Muslim percentage by Tehsils. The unshaded regions are the princely states.
Before the Boundary Commission began formal hearings, governments were set up for the East and the West Punjab regions. Their territories were provisionally divided by “notional division” based on simple district majorities. In both the Punjab and Bengal, the Boundary Commission consisted of two Muslim and two non-Muslim judges with Sir Cyril Radcliffe as a common chairman.
The mission of the Punjab commission was worded generally as the following: “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 take into account other factors.”
Each side (the Muslims and the Congress/Sikhs) presented its claim through counsel with no liberty to bargain. The judges too had no mandate to compromise and on all major issues they “divided two and two, leaving Sir Cyril Radcliffe the invidious task of making the actual decisions.”
Massive population exchanges occurred between the two newly formed states in the months immediately following Partition. Once the lines were established, about 14.5 million people crossed the borders to what they hoped was the relative safety of religious majority. Based on 1951 Census of displaced persons, 7,226,000 Muslims went to Pakistan from India while 7,250,000 Sikhs and Hindus moved to India from Pakistan immediately after partition.
About 11.2 million or 78% of the population transfer took place in the west, with Punjabaccounting for most of it; 5.3 million Muslims moved from India to West Punjab in Pakistan, potentially 3.8 million Hindus and Sikhs could have moved from West Pakistan to East Punjab in India but 500,000 had already migrated before the Radcliffe award was announced; elsewhere in the west 1.2 million moved in each direction to and from Sind.
A crowd of Muslims at the Old Fort (Purana Qila) in Delhi, which had been converted into a vast camp for Muslim refugees waiting to be transported to Pakistan. Manchester Guardian, 27 September 1947.
The newly formed governments were completely unequipped to deal with migrations of such staggering magnitude, and massive violence and slaughter occurred on both sides of the border. Estimates of the number of deaths range around roughly 500,000, with low estimates at 200,000 and high estimates at 1,000,000.
The Indian state of East Punjab was created in 1947, when the Partition of India split the former British province of Punjab between India and Pakistan. The mostly Muslim western part of the province became Pakistan’s Punjab Province; the mostly Sikh and Hindu eastern part became India’s East Punjab state. Many Hindus and Sikhs lived in the west, and many Muslims lived in the east, and the fears of all such minorities were so great that the partition saw many people displaced and much intercommunal violence.
Lahore and Amritsar were at the centre of the problem, the Boundary Commission was not sure where to place them – to make them part of India or Pakistan. The Commission decided to give Lahore to Pakistan, whilst Amritsar became part of India. Some areas in west Punjab, including Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, and Gujrat, had a large Sikh and Hindu population, and many of the residents were attacked or killed. On the other side, in East Punjab, cities such as Amritsar, Ludhiana, Gurdaspur, and Jalandhar had a majority Muslim population, of which thousands were killed or emigrated.
Partition of Bengal (1947)
The province of Bengal was divided into the two separate entities of West Bengal belonging to India, and East Bengal belonging to Pakistan. East Bengal was renamed East Pakistan in 1955, and later became the independent nation of Bangladesh after theBangladesh Liberation War of 1971.
While the Muslim majority districts of Murshidabad and Malda were given to India, the Hindu majority district of Khulna and the majority Buddhist, but sparsely populated Chittagong Hill Tracts was given to Pakistan by the award.
Hindu Sindhis were expected to stay in Sindh following Partition, as there were good relations between Hindu and Muslim Sindhis. At the time of Partition there were 1,400,000 Hindu Sindhis, though most were concentrated in cities such as Hyderabad, Karachi, Shikarpur, and Sukkur. However, because of an uncertain future in a Muslim country, a sense of better opportunities in India, and most of all a sudden influx of Muslim refugees from Gujarat,Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajputana (Rajasthan) and other parts of India, many Sindhi Hindus decided to leave for India.
Problems were further aggravated when incidents of violence instigated by Muslim refugees broke out in Karachi and Hyderabad. According to the census of India 1951, nearly 776,000 Sindhi Hindus moved into India. Unlike the Punjabi Hindus and Sikhs, Sindhi Hindus did not have to witness any massive scale rioting; however, their entire province had gone to Pakistan thus they felt like a homeless community. Despite this migration, a significant Sindhi Hindu population still resides in Pakistan’s Sindh province where they number at around 2.28 million as per Pakistan’s 1998 census while the Sindhi Hindus in India as per 2001 census of India were at 2.57 million.
TIME magazine 27 October 1947 cover Boris Artzybasheff depicting a self-hurting goddess Kali as a symbol of the partition of India. The caption says: “INDIA: Liberty and death.”
The Partition was a highly controversial arrangement, and remains a cause of much tension on the subcontinent today. The BritishViceroy, Lord Mountbatten of Burma has not only been accused of rushing the process through, but also is alleged to have influenced theRadcliffe Line in India’s favour. However, the commission took so long to decide on a final boundary that the two nations were granted their independence even before there was a defined boundary between them. Even then, the members were so distraught at their handiwork (and its results) that they refused compensation for their time on the commission.
Some critics allege that British haste led to the cruelties of the Partition. Because independence was declared prior to the actual Partition, it was up to the new governments of India and Pakistan to keep public order. No large population movements were contemplated; the plan called for safeguards for minorities on both sides of the new border. It was a task at which both states failed. There was a complete breakdown of law and order; many died in riots, massacre, or just from the hardships of their flight to safety. What ensued was one of the largest population movements in recorded history. According to Richard Symonds: At the lowest estimate, half a million people perished and twelve million became homeless.
However, many argue that the British were forced to expedite the Partition by events on the ground. Once in office, Mountbatten quickly became aware if Britain were to avoid involvement in a civil war, which seemed increasingly likely, there was no alternative to partition and a hasty exit from India. Law and order had broken down many times before Partition, with much bloodshed on both sides. A massive civil war was looming by the time Mountbatten became Viceroy. After the Second World War, Britain had limited resources, perhaps insufficient to the task of keeping order. Another viewpoint is that while Mountbatten may have been too hasty he had no real options left and achieved the best he could under difficult circumstances. The historian Lawrence James concurs that in 1947 Mountbatten was left with no option but to cut and run. The alternative seemed to be involvement in a potentially bloody civil war from which it would be difficult to get out.
Conservative elements in England consider the partition of India to be the moment that the British Empire ceased to be a world power, following Curzon’s dictum: “the loss of India would mean that Britain drop straight away to a third rate power.
An estimated 25 million Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs (1947–present) crossed the newly drawn borders to reach their new homelands. These estimates are based on comparisons of censuses from 1941 and 1951 with adjustments for normal population growth in the areas of migration. In northern India – undivided Punjab and North Western Frontier Province (NWFP) – nearly 12 million were forced to move from as early as March 1947 following the Rawalpindi violence.
Delhi received the largest number of refugees for a single city – the population of Delhi grew rapidly in 1947 from under 1 million (917.939) to a little less than 2 million (1.744.072) between the period 1941–1951. The refugees were housed in various historical and military locations such as the Purana Qila, Red Fort, and military barracks in Kingsway (around the present Delhi university). The latter became the site of one of the largest refugee camps in northern India with more than 35,000 refugees at any given time besides Kurukshetra camp near Panipat.
The camp sites were later converted into permanent housing through extensive building projects undertaken by the Government of India from 1948 onwards. A number of housing colonies in Delhi came up around this period like Lajpat Nagar, Rajinder Nagar, Nizamuddin East, Punjabi Bagh, Rehgar Pura, Jungpura and Kingsway Camp.
A number of schemes such as the provision of education, employment opportunities, and easy loans to start businesses were provided for the refugees at the all-India level. The Delhi refugees, however, were able to make use of these facilities much better than their counterparts elsewhere.
Refugees settled in India
Many Sikhs and Hindu Punjabis settled in the Indian parts of Punjab and Delhi. Hindus migrating from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) settled across Eastern India andNortheastern India, many ending up in close-by states like West Bengal, Assam, and Tripura. Some migrants were sent to the Andaman islands where Bengali today form the largest linguistic group.
Hindu Sindhis found themselves without a homeland. The responsibility of rehabilitating them was borne by their government. Refugee camps were set up for Hindu Sindhis. Many refugees overcame the trauma of poverty, though the loss of a homeland has had a deeper and lasting effect on their Sindhi culture. In 1967 the Government of India recognized Sindhi as a fifteenth official language of India in two scripts.
In late 2004, the Sindhi diaspora vociferously opposed a Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court of India which asked theGovernment of India to delete the word “Sindh” from the Indian National Anthem (written by Rabindranath Tagore prior to the partition) on the grounds that it infringed upon the sovereignty of Pakistan.
In the aftermath of partition, a huge population exchange occurred between the two newly formed states. About 14.5 million people crossed the borders, including 8,226,000 Muslims came to Pakistan from India while 7,249,000 Hindus and Sikhs moved to India from Pakistan. About 5.5 million settled in Punjab Pakistan and around 1.5 million settled in Sindh.
Most of those refugees who settled in Punjab Pakistan came from Indian Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir andRajasthan. Most of those refugees who arrived in Sindh came from northern and central urban centres of India, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar,Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan via Wahga and Munabao border, however a limited number of muhajirs also arrived by air and on ships. People who wished to go to India from all over Sindh awaited their departure to India by ship at the Swaminarayan temple inKarachi and were visited by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.
The majority of Urdu speaking refugees who migrated after the independence were settled in the port city of Karachi in southern Sindh and in the cities of Hyderabad, Sukkur, Nawabshah and Mirpurkhas. As well the above many Urdu-speakers settled in the cities ofPunjab mainly in Lahore, Multan, Bahawalpur and Rawalpindi. The number of migrants in Sindh was placed at over 540,000 of whom two-third were urban. In case of Karachi, from a population of around 400,000 in 1947, it turned into more than 1.3 million in 1953.
Former President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, was born in the Nahar Vali Haveli in Daryaganj, Delhi, India. Several previous Pakistani leaders were also born in regions that are in India. Pakistan’s first prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan was born in Karnal (now inHaryana). The 7-year longest-serving Governor and martial law administrator of Pakistan’s largest province, Balochistan, GeneralRahimuddin Khan, was born in the predominantly Pathan city of Kaimganj, which now lies in Uttar Pradesh. General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, who came to power in a military coup in 1977, was born in Jalandhar, East Punjab. The families of all four men opted for Pakistan at the time of Partition.
Restoration of women
Both sides promised each other that they would try to restore women abducted during the riots. The Indian government claimed that 33,000 Hindu and Sikh women were abducted, and the Pakistani government claimed that 50,000 Muslim women were abducted during riots. By 1949, there were governmental claims that 12,000 women had been recovered in India and 6,000 in Pakistan. By 1954 there were 20,728 recovered Muslim women and 9032 Hindu and Sikh women recovered from Pakistan. Many of the Muslim women refused to go back to Pakistan fearing that they would never be accepted by their family; similarly, the families of many Hindu and Sikh women refused to take back their relatives.
India and Pakistan
Indo-Pakistani wars and conflicts
Since Partition, with the riots and killings between the two religious communities, India and Pakistan have struggled to maintain normal relations. One of the biggest debates occurs over the disputed region of Kashmir, over which there have been three wars, and the reasons for the wars have related only to the confusion over partition. There have been four Indo-Pakistani wars:
Indo-Pakistani War of 1947: Pakistani backed tribals (and later its army) invaded the princely state of Kashmir that acceded to India as per the scheme of accession provided inIndian Independence Act 1947. A stalemate followed since 1949.
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965: Pakistani-backed guerrillas invaded Jammu & Kashmir state of India. India is generally believed to have had the upper hand when a ceasefire was called. Whereas Pakistan believed its air-superiority over army and navy against India in the war to be key achievement and future success if war continued.
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971: After India announced support for the Bengalis in East Pakistan, Pakistan launched air strikes against India. India eventually captured 13,000 square kilometres of Pakistan’s territory (which it later returned on the condition that newly-created Bangladesh is recognised by Pakistan). East Pakistan ceased to be a part of Pakistan and Bangladesh came into existence in its place.
1999 Kargil Conflict: Pakistani army troops invaded high peaks in Kargil sector in Jammu & Kashmir during the winter when high mountain posts were unoccupied. India recaptured all territory lost.
Before independence, Hindus and Sikhs had formed 20 per cent of the population of the areas now forming Pakistan, presently the percentage has “whittled down to one-and-a half percent”. M. C. Chagla, in a speech at the UN General Assembly said that, Pakistan solved its minority problem by the ethnic cleansing of the Hindus, resulting in “hardly any” Hindu minority population in West Pakistan. India suspected Pakistan of ethnic cleansing when millions of Hindus fled its province of East Pakistan in 1971. Hindus remaining in Pakistan have been persecuted. Yasmin Saikia writes that “although a large number of Muslims migrated to Pakistan in 1947, the bulk of the Muslim population stayed in their homelands in India”. According to Azim A. Khan Sherwani, the Hashimpura massacre case is “a chilling reminder of the apathy of the (Indian) state towards access to justice for Muslims”, he writes that the case demonstrates that it is not just the Hindutva lobby, but also the Congress-Left and the socialists that are apathetic, and that Muslim “leaders” are more concerned with their personal ambitions and not with “issues afflicting the community”. In Pakistan, Hindus sometimes resent the alleged discrimination and forced conversion to Islam.
Integration of refugee populations with their new countries did not always go smoothly. Some Urdu speaking Muslims (Muhajirs)who migrated to Pakistan have complained that they are discriminated against in government employment. Municipal political conflict inKarachi, Pakistan’s largest city, often pitted native Sindhis against immigrants. Sindhi, Bengali, and Punjabi refugees in India also experienced poverty as they largely came empty handed. However, 50 years after Partition, almost all ex-refugees have managed to rebuild their lives.
All of the three nations resulting from the Partition of India have had to deal with endemic civil conflicts. Inside India, these have been largely due to inter-religious unrest and disruptive far left forces. Civil unrest inside India includes:
Islamist separatist movement in Jammu & Kashmir resulting in the
Despite the huge migrations during and after Partition, India is still home to the third largest Muslim population in the world (after Indonesia and Pakistan). The current estimates for India (see Demographics of India) are as shown below. Islamic Pakistan, the former West Pakistan, by contrast, has a much smaller minority population. Its religious distribution is below (see Demographics of Pakistan). As for Bangladesh, the former East Pakistan, the non-Muslim share is somewhat larger (see Demographics of Bangladesh):
India (2006 Est. 1,095 million vs. 1951 Census 361 million)
80.5% Hindus (839 million)
13.10% Muslims (143 million)
2.31% Christians (25 million)
2.00% Sikhs (21 million)
1.94% Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and others (20 million)
Pakistan (2005 Est. 162 million vs. 1951 Census 34 million)
98.0% Muslims (159 million)
1.0% Christians (1.62 million)
1.0% Hindus, Sikhs and others (1.62 million)
Bangladesh (2005 Est. 144 million vs. 1951 Census 42 million)
86% Muslims (124 million)
13% Hindus (18 million)
1% Christians, Buddhists and Animists (1.44 million)
Both nations have to a great extent assimilated the refugees.