Aanchal Malhotra: Partition (1947)

An unholy rush: the cavalier, chaotic and catastrophic sequence of events surrounding Indian Independence in the summer of 1947

In the immediate aftermath of World War Two it became clear that the British Raj was no longer sustainable. But how should the British leave the Indian subcontinent after such a long period of colonial rule? Should the territory be divided? How could this be done?

The long-contested answers to these questions were finally delivered between June and August of 1947. In this episode of Travels Through Time the writer and artist Aanchal Malhotra ventures back to the bewildering and traumatic events of that summer. We meet British officials like Sir Cyril Radcliffe, the man responsible for drawing the border line between India and Pakistan, and many of the individuals whose lives were altered irrevocably by his decisions.

Scene One: 3 June, 1947 India – the announcement of Indian independence and subsequent Partition called the Independence of India Act, 1947 or the Mountbatten Plan. 

Scene Two: 8 July, 1947, arrival of Sir Cyril Radcliffe, who goes on to draw the "Radcliffe Line".

Scene Three: The days of Partition – roughly, the middle of August, 1947. The northern belt of present-day India and Pakistan.

Follow Aanchal’s work on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aanch_m

Or get your copy of Aanchal’s book: Remnants of Partition https://www.hurstpublishers.com/book/remnants-of-partition/

Presenter: Peter Moore

Guest: Aanchal Malhotra

Producer: Maria Nolan