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British relief in the Franco-Prussian War, 1870–71
Rebecca Gill

moral self-determination. Blackwood’s caricature of staid Quaker complacency was thus to be rebutted. It would be just such a concept of ‘moral’ citizenship that Gladstone would come to invoke in his denunciation of Tory policy in the Balkans. Here converged an avowedly patriotic politics of humanity that would animate foreign affairs and networks of relief workers for over a

in Calculating compassion
Abstract only
‘No such deeds’: responsibility and remembrance
Lucy P. Chester

them should hold many things in oblivion’. He asserts that forgetfulness, and even historical error, form an essential factor in the creation of a nation. ‘Historical research, in fact’, he suggests, ‘bring back to the light the deeds of violence that have taken place at the commencement of all political formation, even those the consequences of which

in Borders and conflict in South Asia
Abstract only
Lucy P. Chester

independence. Doing so will unfold the story of how the boundary was drawn, its place in the high politics of Britain’s withdrawal from South Asia, and its impact on those living in the territory so abruptly and violently divided. We must begin, however, by retreating from the heat of the bloody summer of 1947 to the chill of the preceding British winter, which saw the convergence of a number of factors that

in Borders and conflict in South Asia
Radcliffe’s private deliberations
Lucy P. Chester

postcolonial states of India and Pakistan (whether they wanted it or not) a central element of the legacy of imperial rule; the raj’s political boundaries marked the (ostensible) stability of its rule. When appraising their imperial legacy, British officials emphasized their impact on everyday life and the improvements they had made in the average peasant’s lot. One staunchly imperialist former Indian Army

in Borders and conflict in South Asia
The historical context of partition
Lucy P. Chester

reforms that increased South Asians’ participation in their own governance. 1 Among these were the Morley-Minto reforms of 1909, often regarded as containing the seeds of partition. By creating separate electorates for different religious communities, however, they also implanted the idea that Indian society consisted of fundamentally different groups, encouraging political leaders to identify themselves

in Borders and conflict in South Asia
The façade of South Asian responsibility
Lucy P. Chester

particular geographical expertise or any knowledge of the problematic precedents for partition. The commission gathered information by means of public hearings at which Congress, the Muslim League and a few other interested parties presented their views on where the boundary line should fall. In the end, the commission’s format and the judges’ strong political loyalties left Radcliffe responsible for all the

in Borders and conflict in South Asia
The boundary commission at work
Lucy P. Chester

chairman with four equally carefully picked political nominees: Muhammad Munir and Din Muhammad of the Muslim League and Mehr Chand Mahajan and Teja Singh of the Indian National Congress. Like Radcliffe, the South Asian members of the commission had no background in boundary-making. Far from being independent and objective, they were closely involved in each party’s preparation of the case it presented before the

in Borders and conflict in South Asia
The aftermath
Lucy P. Chester

misguided. As it was demobilized, Francis Mudie wrote apologetically to Rees: ‘the setting up of your force was constitutionally and politically wrong. The decision to create the force was however taken at a high level and I can express my opinion only in private.’ 22 Even at the time, some observers recognized the PBF as a deeply flawed effort to enforce order, one that British officials had assembled with more attention to

in Borders and conflict in South Asia
Abstract only
Cyril Radcliffe and the end of empire
Lucy P. Chester

assumed. Both Congress and Muslim League leaders perceived Radcliffe as impartial, in large part because he had never been a member of the Indian Civil Service. Radcliffe in fact had no direct knowledge of India, never having visited the subcontinent. As I have shown, however, he knew the Indian political scene and, most importantly, British interests in India, from his wartime work as a minister in the

in Borders and conflict in South Asia
The development of the Indo-Pakistani borderlands
Lucy P. Chester

unsuccessful. Volunteer defence organizations also sprang up, especially in the vicinity of Amritsar. These groups, some of them openly political, included ‘the Punjab Frontier Corps, the Punjab Defence Force, the Congress Sewa Dal, the Student Home Guards and the Sher-i-Punjab Dal’, and their leaders engaged in vigorous recruitment efforts. Members of the RSS, a militant group active even before partition

in Borders and conflict in South Asia