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Jinnah believed that Hindus and Muslims in colonial India belonged to separate nations. Separate electorates created temptation for politicians working within the system to gather and favour a religious group. Muslim and Hindu activists were angered by each other’s activities. During 1937 elections, both Congress and Muslim League fared poorly in Muslim constituencies. The League, under Jinnah, doubled its effort to expand social support. In 1940, Pakistan Resolution was formalized. It was used by Jinnah as a bargaining tactic for gaining favours for the Muslims. Negotiations, delayed due to Second World War, were restarted in 1945. In elections of 1946, Congress won majority of non-Muslim votes, while Muslim League won majority of Muslim vote. In 1946, British sent a mission to Delhi to suggest a political framework for India. It suggested India to remain united, with a loose confederation. After initial agreement, both the League and the Congress rejected the proposal.

To fulfil the demand of Pakistan, Muslim League announced 16th August as ‘Direct Action Day’, due to which, violence spread to many parts by March 1947. Ultimately, partition was proposed by Congress High Command, with Punjab and Bengal to be divided. Violence led to major bloodbath which lasted a year. Gandhiji, who staked all for his principle of “non violence”, moved from the villages in East Bengal to Delhi. Gandhiji’s Martyrdom ended all violence.

During partition, women were massacred and looted. Many were abducted and forced to settle to a new life. Later, governments recovered and sent women to their earlier locations. Partition was mostly centered in Punjab, while in Bengal people moved across a porous border. In both cases, women and girls were the prime targets of persecution.

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