This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Priyansh Verma. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Recalling Partition: Could It Have Been Avoided?

More from Priyansh Verma

India is entering its 71st year of Swaraj. At this moment, I wish to recall specific incidents and unwise decisions that led to the most undesirable outcome of the Indian Independence Movement – the Partition.

1. Congress’ failure to form a coalition with the Muslim League in United Provinces in 1936-37 provincial elections:

The 1936-37 elections for provincial legislatures were held, as mandated by the Government of India Act, 1935. It was the first constitutional measure introduced by the British in India. According to this act, parties winning the elections would form ministries; which would function on the basis of joint and collective responsibility.

Indian National Congress and the Muslim League had a different approach on significant issues. For Jawaharlal Nehru, Swaraj (self-governance) was the main objective. He wanted a sovereign, united and secular India. Whereas, Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s sole aim was to establish the Muslim League, as the sole representative of Muslim affairs in Indian politics.

In the 1936-37 provincial elections, Congress won 707 seats; and the Muslim League 106. The communal card that the Muslim League relied upon didn’t play a major role in this election. The League requested the Congress to form a coalition govt. in the United Provinces, but Nehru declined due to ideological differences. Nehru further launched a Muslim mass contact program in 1937, to connect with the entire Muslim community.

All these incidents made Jinnah furious. Subsequently, he started conspiring against the Congress.

2. Congress’ inability to win support in Muslim majority provinces in 1946 provincial elections:

On 23rd March 1940, the Muslim League proposed the idea of building a separate sovereign nation for Muslims. Initially, the majority of Muslims didn’t favour the creation of Pakistan but agreed later, under the influence of Jinnah’s shrewd political sense, brilliant diplomacy and massive campaigning.

The Indian National Congress failed to assess the impact of such campaign and lost severely to the Muslim League at Bengal, Sind and Punjab in the 1946 provincial elections.

3. Nehru’s refusal to grouping in Cabinet Mission Plan, 1946:

By 1946, the British Raj had realized that it won’t be able to sustain its control over India for a long time. So, before granting Independence, they decided to keep India united, for using it as a military base.

Thenceforth, Clement Attlee, the Prime Minister of United Kingdom, formulated a Cabinet Mission Plan, to be sent to India for the transfer of power. The Cabinet Mission Plan’s role was to, set up a Constituent Assembly — to frame the Constitution; a Viceroy’s Executive Council — for temporary governance; and propose the composition of the new govt. (by a formation of groups, to be made and governed on communal lines). In its proposals, the Cabinet Mission Plan had also rejected the idea of a separate Muslim nation, Pakistan.

Nehru denied the proposal regarding the composition of new government, but agreed to be a part of the Executive Council, until the Constitution was framed. These developments agitated Jinnah. He rejected the proposals of the Cabinet Mission altogether. Furthermore, fearing that his idea of Pakistan will never come to pass; Jinnah called for ‘Direct Action Day.’

The Direct Action Day, became exceedingly violent in Calcutta (Kolkata). The city witnessed extreme communal violence and bloodshed. Jinnah’s violent approach appalled the British. So, Lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India, asked Nehru to request Jinnah to enter the Executive Council; to save the country from massive communal barbarity.

The League entered the Council, but the council didn’t function in harmony. The communal violence also did not end. All the efforts made by Congress to convince Jinnah, to align the League with their plan of action failed. Upon Lord Mountbatten’s arrival in India, Congress expressed their incompetence in making this coalition work and eventually agreed for partition.

4. British and INC’s failure of working together despite having a common goal:

The British didn’t oppose the idea of Pakistan from 1940 to 1946 and rather encouraged it. They thought to use the Pakistan card, as a counterpoise to the Congress’s demand of Swaraj.

Congress also couldn’t convince the Muslim League to drop the idea of Pakistan and identify with their idea of a secular independent India. At crucial moments, the Congress agreed to the Muslim League’s demands to appease them. But they were wrong.

Pakistan could’ve only been avoided when Congress and British had worked together. The idea of Pakistan was very small when introduced. It got enlarged, just due to the support of British Raj.

Even after 71 years, Pakistan sustains its hostile approach towards India, due to the support of a third party. And India is failing to counter Pakistan. Why? Because it still emphasizes bilateral talks. I feel, there is a need for an immediate change in India’s stance.


You must be to comment.

More from Priyansh Verma

Similar Posts

By Tuba Afreen

By The Bleed Eco Project

By Meir Syed

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below