The breakup of India and Palestine

The causes and legacies of partition

Victor Kattan
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Amit Ranjan
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This book is the first study of political and legal thinking about the partitions of India and Palestine in 1947. It explains how these two formative moments collectively contributed to the disintegration of the European colonial empires and unleashed political forces whose legacies continue to shape the modern politics of the Middle East and South Asia. The chapters in the volume, authored by leading scholars of partition, draw attention to the pathways of peoples, geographic spaces, colonial policies, laws and institutions that connect them from the vantage point of those most engaged in the process: political actors, party activists, jurists, diplomats, writers and international representatives from the Middle East, South Asia and beyond. Additionally, the volume investigates some of the underlying causes of partition in both places, such as the hardening of religious fault lines, majoritarian politics and the failure to construct viable forms of government in deeply divided societies. Finally, this book analyses why, even seventy-five years after partition, the two regions have not been able to address some of the pertinent historical, political and social debates of the colonial years. It moves the debate about partition away from the imperial centre, by focusing on ground level arguments about the future of postcolonial India and Palestine and the still unfolding repercussions of those debates.

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