Explain why it was thought necessary to divide India, creating the separate state of Pakistan.
The hostility between Hindus and Muslims was the main reason of the Partition.
- In the elections of 1937, The Hindu National Congress Party won in 8 out of 11 states and invited the Muslim League to merge. But the Muslim League fearing that India will be dominated by Hindu and Jinnah called for the separate Muslim state of Pakistan.
- Several attempts were made to establish compromise between the two parties. The British proposed a federal structure in which the central government would have limited power compared to provincial government. But this also failed when both parties objected the details.
- When Viceroy Lord Wavell invited Jawaharlal Nehru to form interim government with the hope that the details could be sorted later on. Nehru included two Muslims in the Cabinet but Jinnah declined to trust Hindus for fair treatment of Muslims and called for direct action for separate Pakistan and riots started.
To avoid the civil war, partition was the only solution. Lord Mountbatten formulated the plan for partition and it was agreed by Nehru and Jinnah.