‘No such deeds’: responsibility and remembrance
in Borders and conflict in South Asia
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Sir Cyril Radcliffe's loyalty to British interests is key to understanding his work in 1947. The party leaders, both Congress and Muslim League, fundamentally misunderstood this aspect of Radcliffe's position. Radcliffe endeavoured to divide territory fairly, according to religious demographics, but other factors played a role as well. In attempting to buffer Amritsar and in allowing Mountbatten to persuade him that the Ferozepur salient would cause more trouble than it was worth, he demonstrated a concern for geopolitical matters. In an address to the Pakistani nation at the end of August 1947, Muhammad Ali Jinnah lamented the fact that the Radcliffe decision 'may not be a judicial but political award'. Jawaharlal Nehru apparently remained convinced of the value of legal experience, although he came to regret the structure of the boundary commission. Nehru recognized that the boundary commission's format had, worked against real South Asian influence, at least in Punjab.

Borders and conflict in South Asia

The Radcliffe boundary commission and the partition of Punjab


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