Thursday, July 10, 2008


The term South Asia usually refers to the political entities of the Sub-Himalayan region - namely Republic of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and the island nations of Sri Lanka and the Maldives - which is also known as the Indian subcontinent. For a history—up to 1947—of
what is now Bangladesh, Republic of India, and Pakistan, see:

History of India

For the histories of countries and regions in South Asia, see:
History of the Republic of India (since 1950)
History of Assam
History of West Bengal (since 1947)
History of Bihar
History of Delhi
History of Goa (since 1960)
History of Gujarat
History of Himachal Pradesh (since 1966)
History of Maharashtra (since 1956)
History of Orissa
History of the Punjab (since 1966)
History of Sikkim (since 1975)
History of South India
History of Karnataka (since 1956)
History of Puducherry
History of Tamil Nadu
History of Kerala
History of Tripura (since 1947)
History of Jammu and Kashmir (1947-present)
History of Pakistan
Historical regions of Pakistan
History of East Bengal (1947-1955)
History of East Pakistan (1955-1971)
History of West Pakistan (1955-1970)
History of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (since 1946)
History of Ladakh (since 1962)
History of the Punjab
History of Sindh
History of Balochistan
History of North-West Frontier Province
History of Bangladesh (since 1971/1972)
History of Bengal
History of Tripura (since 1947)
History of East Bengal (1911-1947)
History of Bhutan (since 1949)
History of the Maldives
History of Nepal
History of Sri Lanka
History of British Indian Ocean Territory

See also

SAARC portal
Romani people
History of Asia
History of Central Asia
History of East Asia
History of Southeast Asia
History of the Middle East
Muslim conquest of South Asia
Timurid dynasty
Mughal Empire

The Indus Valley Civilization (c. 3000–1500 BCE, Mature period 2600–1900 BCE), abbreviated IVC, was an ancient civilization that flourished in the Indus River valley of Pakistan. Primarily centred in the Sindh and Punjab provinces of modern-day Pakistan, extending westward into Balochistan province, Afghanistan and a small part of western India. Other remains of the IVC can also be found in present-day Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Iran. The mature phase of this civilization is technically known as the Harappan Civilization, after the first of its cities to be excavated, Harappa. Excavation of IVC sites has been ongoing since the 1920s, with important breakthroughs occurring as recently as 1999.
The civilization is sometimes referred to as the Indus Ghaggar-Hakra civilization[2] or the Indus-Sarasvati civilization. The appellation Indus-Sarasvati is based on the possible identification of the Ghaggar-Hakra River with the Sarasvati River mentioned in the Rig Veda, but this usage is disputed on linguistic and geographical grounds.


1 Historical context
2 Discovery and excavation
3 Periodisation
4 Geography
5 Origins
6 Early Harappan
7 Mature Harappan
7.1 Cities
7.2 Science
7.3 Arts and culture
7.4 Trade and transportation
7.5 Agriculture
7.6 Writing or symbol system
7.7 Religion
8 Late Harappan
8.1 Legacy
9 See also
10 Notes
11 Bibliography
12 External links

Historical context
The IVC has been tentatively identified with the toponym Meluhha known from Sumerian records. It has been compared in particular with the civilizations of Elam (also in the context of the Elamo-Dravidian hypothesis) and with Minoan Crete (because of such isolated cultural parallels such as the ubiquitous goddess worship and depictions of bull-leaping).[5] The mature (Harappan) phase of the IVC is contemporary to the Early to Middle Bronze Age in the Ancient Near East, in particular the Old Elamite period, Early Dynastic to Ur III Mesopotamia, Prepalatial Minoan Crete and Old Kingdom to First Intermediate Period Egypt.
The language of the IVC has not yet been determined. Proto-Dravidian,[6][7] Proto-Indo-Iranian, Proto-Munda, the prefixing Para-Munda and a "Language X" or "lost phylum" have been proposed as the language.

Discovery and excavation
The ruins of Harrappa were first described in 1842 by Charles Masson in his Narrative of Various Journeys in Baluchistan, Afghanistan and the Panjab, where locals talked of an ancient city extending "thirteen cosses" (about 25 miles), but no archaeological interest would attach to this for nearly a century.
In 1856, British engineers John and William Brunton were laying the East Indian Railway Company line connecting the cities of Karachi and Lahore. John wrote: "I was much exercised in my mind how we were to get ballast for the line of the railway." They were told of an ancient ruined city near the lines, called Brahminabad. Visiting the city, he found it full of hard well-burnt bricks, and "convinced that there was a grand quarry for the ballast I wanted", the city of Brahminabad was reduced to ballast. A few months later, further north, John's brother William Brunton's "section of the line ran near another ruined city, bricks from which had already been used by villagers in the nearby village of Harappa at the same site. These bricks now provided ballast along 93 miles of the railroad track running from Karachi to Lahore."
In 1872–75 Alexander Cunningham published the first Harappan seal (with an erroneous identification as Brahmi letters). It was half a century later, in 1912, that more Harappan seals were discovered by J. Fleet, prompting an excavation campaign under Sir John Hubert Marshall in 1921–22 and resulting in the discovery of the hitherto unknown civilization at Harappa by Sir John Marshall, Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni and Madho Sarup Vats, and at Mohenjo-daro by Rakhal Das Banerjee, E. J. H. MacKay, and Sir John Marshall. By 1931, much of Mohenjo-Daro had been excavated, but excavations continued, such as that led by Sir Mortimer Wheeler, director of the Archaeological Survey of India in 1944. Among other archaeologists who worked on IVC sites before the partition of the subcontinent in 1947 were Ahmad Hasan Dani, Brij Basi Lal, Nani Gopal Majumdar, and Sir Marc Aurel Stein.
Following the partition of British India, the bulk of the archaeological finds were inherited by Pakistan where most of the IVC was based, and excavations from this time include those led by Sir Mortimer Wheeler in 1949, archaeological adviser to the Government of Pakistan. Outposts of the Indus Valley civilization were excavated as far west as Sutkagan Dor in Baluchistan, as far north as at Shortugai on the Amudarya or Oxus River in current Afghanistan.

Main article: Periodization of the Indus Valley Civilization
The mature phase of the Harappan civilization lasted from c. 2600 to 1900 BCE. With the inclusion of the predecessor and successor cultures—Early Harappan and Late Harappan, respectively—the entire Indus Valley Civilization may be taken to have lasted from the 33rd to the 14th centuries BCE. Two terms are employed for the periodization of the IVC: Phases and Eras. The Early Harappan, Mature Harappan, and Late Harappan phases are also called the Regionalisation, Integration, and Localisation eras, respectively, with the Regionalization era reaching back to the Neolithic Mehrgarh II period. "Discoveries at Mehrgarh changed the entire concept of the Indus civilization," according to Ahmad Hasan Dani, professor emeritus at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. "There we have the whole sequence, right from the beginning of settled village life


Various sculptures, seals, pottery, gold jewelry and anatomically detailed figurines in terracotta, bronze and steatite have been found at the excavation sites.

A number of gold, terra-cotta and stone figurines of girls in dancing poses reveal the presence of some dance form. Also, these terra-cotta figurines included cows, bears, monkeys, and dogs. Sir John Marshall is known to have reacted with surprise when he saw the famous Indus bronze statuette of a slender-limbed dancing girl in Mohenjo-daro
… When I first saw them I found it difficult to believe that they were prehistoric; they seemed to completely upset all established ideas about early art, and culture.. Modeling such as this was unknown in the ancient world up to the Hellenistic age of Greece, and I thought, therefore, that some mistake must surely have been made; that these figures had found their way into levels some 3000 years older than those to which they properly belonged. … Now, in these statuettes, it is just this anatomical truth which is so startling; that makes us wonder whether, in this all-important matter, Greek artistry could possibly have been anticipated by the sculptors of a far-off age on the banks of the Indus.

Many crafts "such as shell working, ceramics, and agate and glazed steatite bead making" were used in the making of necklaces, bangles, and other ornaments from all phases of Harappan sites and some of these crafts are still practiced in the subcontinent today.[41] Some make-up and toiletry items (a special kind of combs (kakai), the use of collyrium and a special three-in-one toiletry gadget) that were found in Harappan contexts still have similar counterparts in modern India.[42] Terracotta female figurines were found (ca. 2800-2600 BCE) which had red color applied to the "manga" (line of partition of the hair).
Seals have been found at Mohenjo-daro depicting a figure standing on its head, and another sitting cross-legged in what some call a yoga-like pose (see image, the so-called Pashupati, below).
A harp-like instrument depicted on an Indus seal and two shell objects found at Lothal indicate the use of stringed musical instruments. The Harappans also made various toys and games, among them cubical dice (with one to six holes on the faces), which were found in sites like Mohenjo-Daro


The Iron Age in the Indian subcontinent succeeds the Late Harappan (Cemetery H) culture, also known as the last phase of the Indus Valley Tradition. The cultures of the Punjab and Rajasthan in this phase spread eastward across the Gangetic plain. For this reason, the succession of Iron Age cultures of northern India and Pakistan are also known as the Indo-Gangetic Tradition.
The Painted Gray Ware culture (ca 1200-800 BCE) and the Northern Black Polished Ware culture (ca 700-300 BCE) belong to the "Regionalization Era" of the Indo-Gangetic Tradition. This corresponds to the later phase of the Vedic period and Mahajanapadas and the rise of the Maurya Empire. Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka the Great belong to this period.
The earliest Iron Age site in South India is Hallur.
India enters the classical period from the 6th century BC with the births of Mahavira and Gautama Buddha, followed by the Sanskrit grammar of Panini, the Edicts of Ashoka, and the emerging Middle kingdoms

Kenoyer, J.M. 1998 Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization. Oxford University Press and American Institute of Pakistan Studies, Karachi.
Kenoyer, J. M. 1991a The Indus Valley Tradition of Pakistan and Western India. In Journal of World Prehistory 5(4): 331-385.
Kenoyer, J. M. 1995a Interaction Systems, Specialized Crafts and Culture Change: The Indus Valley Tradition and the Indo-Gangetic Tradition in South Asia. In The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia: Language, Material Culture and Ethnicity, edited by G. Erdosy, pp. 213-257. Berlin, W. DeGruyter.
Shaffer, J. G. 1992 The Indus Valley, Baluchistan and Helmand Traditions: Neolithic Through Bronze Age. In Chronologies in Old Worlsfgagd Archaeology (3rd Edition), edited by R. Ehrich, pp. 441-464. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.


The Sātavāhanas (Marathi: सातवाहन, Telugu:శాతవాహనులు), were a dynasty which ruled from Junnar (Pune), Prathisthan (Paithan) in Maharashtra and Amaravati (Dharanikota) in Andhra Pradesh over Southern and Central India from around 230 BCE onward. Although there is some controversy about when the dynasty came to an end, the most liberal estimates suggest that it lasted about 450 years, until around 220 CE. The Satavahanas are credited for establishing peace in the country, resisting the onslaught of foreigners after the decline of Mauryan empire.

The first mention of the Satavahana is in the Aitareya Brahmana, dating back to the 8th century BCE mentioning them to be of Vishwamitra's lineage.In the Pūrānas and on their coins the dynasty is variously referred to as the Sātavāhanas, Sātakarnīs, Andhras and Andhrabhrityas. A reference to the Sātavāhanas by the Greek traveller Megasthenes indicates that they possessed 100,000 infantry, 1,000 elephants, and had more than 30 well built fortified towns:
Next come the Andarae, a still more powerful race, which possesses numerous villages, and thirty towns defended by walls and towers, and which supplies its king with an army of 100,000 infantry, 2,000 cavalry, and 1,000 elephants.

Hist. Nat. VI. 21. 8-23. 11., quoting Megasthenes
The Sātavāhanas ruled a large and powerful empire that withstood the onslaughts from Central Asia. Aside from their military power, their commercialism and naval activity is evidenced by establishment of Indian colonies in southeast Asia for the first time in history

The Sātavāhanas began as feudatories to the Mauryan Empire. They seem to have been under the control of Emperor Ashoka, who claims they were in his domain, and that he introduced Buddhism among them:
Here in the king's domain among the Yavanas (Greeks), the Kambojas, the Nabhakas, the Nabhapamkits, the Bhojas, the Pitinikas, the Andhras and the Palidas, everywhere people are following Beloved-of-the-Gods' instructions in Dhamma.
Rock Edict Nb13 (S. Dhammika)
The Satavahanas declared independence sometime after the death of Ashoka (232 BCE), as the Maurya Empire began to weaken.
It is believed that they were Buddhistic Brahmins.[2] Some rulers like Maharaja Satakarni are believed to have performed Vedic sacrifices as well.[3]
They were not only worshipers of The Buddha, but also other incarnations of Vishnu and Shiva, Gauri, Indra, the sun and moon.[4] They were mostly Buddhistic Vaishnavites. Under their reign, in Amaravati, the historian Durga Prasad notices that Buddha had been worshiped as a form of Vishnu [5]

[edit] Early rulers
The Satavahanas/ Andhras initially ruled in the area of Andhradesa, the Telugu name for the people country between the rivers Krishna and Godavari,[citation needed] which was always their heartland. The Pūrānas list 30 Andhra rulers. Many are known from their coins and inscriptions as well.

[edit] Simuka (c.230-207 BCE)
After becoming independent around 230 BCE, Simuka, the founder of the dynasty, conquered Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Malwa and part of Madhya Pradesh. He was succeeded by his brother Kanha (or Krishna) (r. 207-189 BCE), who further extended his kingdom to the west and the south.
Satakarni (c.180-124 BCE)

Early Satakarni issue, Maharashtra - Vidarbha type.

Satavahana 1st century BCE coin inscribed in Brahmi: "(Sataka)Nisa". British Museum.
His successor Sātakarnī I was the sixth ruler of the Satavahana. He is said in the Puranas to have ruled for 56 years.
Satakarni defeated the Sunga dynasty of North India by wrestling Western Malwa from them, and performed several Vedic sacrifices at huge cost, including the Horse Sacrifice. He also was in conflict with the Kalinga ruler Kharavela, who mentions him in the Hathigumpha inscription. According to the Yuga Purana he conquered Kalinga following the death of Kharavela. He extended Satavahana rule over Madhya Pradesh and pushed back the Sakas from Pataliputra (he is thought to be the Yuga Purana's "Shata", an abbreviation of the full name “Shri Sata” that occurs on coins from Ujjain), where he subsequently ruled for 10 years.
By this time the dynasty was well established, with its capital at Pratishthānapura (Paithan) in Maharashtra, and its power spreading into all of South India.

[edit] Kanva suzerainty (75-35 BCE)
Many small rulers succeeded Satakarni, such as Lambodara, Apilaka, Meghasvati and Kuntala Satakarni, who are thought to have been under the suzerainty of the Kanva dynasty. The Puranas (the Matsya Purana, the Vayu Purana, the Brahmanda Purana, the Vishnu Purana) all state that the first of the Andhra kings rose to power in the 1st century BCE, by slaying Susarman, the last ruler of the Kanvas.[6] This feat is usually thought to have been accomplished by Pulomavi (c. 30-6 BCE), who then ruled over Pataliputra
Victory over the Shakas, Yavanas and Pahlavas
The first century CE saw another incursion of the Sakas of Central Asia into India, where they formed the dynasty of the Western Kshatrapas. The four immediate successors of Hāla (r. 20-24 CE) had short reigns totalling about a dozen years. During the reign of the Western Satrap Nahapana, the Satavahanas lost a considerable territory to the satraps, including eastern Malwa, Southern Gujarat, and Northern Konkan, from Broach to Sopara and the Nasik and Poona districts.

Eventually Gautamiputra (Sri Yagna) Sātakarni (also known as Shalivahan) (r. 78-106 CE) defeated the Western Satrap ruler Nahapana, restoring the prestige of his dynasty by reconquering a large part of the former dominions of the Sātavāhanas. He was an ardent supporter of Hinduism.
According to the Nasik inscription made by his mother Gautami Balasri, he is the one...
...who crushed down the pride and conceit of the Kshatriyas (the native Indian princes, the Rajputs of Rajputana, Gujarat and Central India); who destroyed the Shakas (Western Kshatrapas), Yavanas (Indo-Greeks) and Pahlavas (Indo-Parthians),... who rooted the Khakharata familly (The Kshaharata familly of Nahapana); who restored the glory of the Satavahana race[9]
Gautamiputra Satakarni may also have defeated Shaka king Vikramaditya in 78 AD and started the calendar known as Shalivahana era or Shaka era, which is followed by the Marathi and Telugu people even to this day.

Gautamiputra Sātakarni's son, Vashishtiputra Pulumāyi (r. 106-130 CE), succeeded him. Gautamiputra was the first Sātavāhana king to issue the portrait-type coinage, in a style derived from the Western Satraps.

Art of Sanchi
The Satavahanas contributed greatly to the embellishment of the Buddhist stupa of Sanchi. The gateways and the balustrade were built after 70 BCE, and appear to have been commissioned by them. An inscription records the gift of one of the top architraves of the Southern Gateway by the artisans of the Satavahana king Satakarni:

Gift of Ananda, the son of Vasithi, the foreman of the artisans of rajan Siri Satakarni[18]
Throughout, the Buddhist art of the Satavahanas remained aniconic, denying any human representation of the Buddha, even in highly descriptive scenes. This remained true until the end of the Satavahana rule, in the 2nd century CE.
British Raj (rāj, lit. "reign" in Hindustani[1]) primarily refers to the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947;[2] it can also refer to the region of the rule, or the period of dominion.[3] The region, commonly called India in contemporary usage, included areas directly administered by the United Kingdom[4] (contemporaneously, "British India") as well as the princely states ruled by individual rulers under the paramountcy of the British Crown. After 1876, the resulting political union was officially called the Indian Empire and issued passports under that name. As India, it was a founding member of the League of Nations, and a member nation of the Summer Olympics in 1900, 1920, 1928, 1932, and 1936.
The system of governance was instituted in 1858, when the rule of the British East India Company was transferred to the Crown in the person of Queen Victoria (and who, in 1876, was proclaimed Empress of India), and lasted until 1947, when the British Indian Empire was partitioned into two sovereign dominion states, the Union of India (later the Republic of India) and the Dominion of Pakistan (later the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People's Republic of Bangladesh).

Geographical extent of the Raj
The British Indian Empire included the regions of present-day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, and, in addition, at various times, Aden (from 1858 to 1937), Lower Burma (from 1858 to 1937), Upper Burma (from 1886 to 1937), British Somaliland (briefly from 1884 to 1898), and Singapore (briefly from 1858 to 1867). Burma was directly administered by the British Crown from 1937 until its independence in 1948. Among other countries in the region, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), which was ceded to the United Kingdom in 1802 under the Treaty of Amiens, was a British Crown Colony, but not part of British India. The kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan, both having fought wars with the British and subsequently signed treaties with them, were recognized by the British as independent states.[5][6] The Kingdom of Sikkim was established as a princely state after the Anglo-Sikkimese Treaty of 1861, however, the issue of sovereignty was left undefined.[7] The Maldive Islands were a British protectorate from 1867 to 1965, but not part of British India.

[edit] British India and the Native States
The British Indian Empire (contemporaneously India) consisted of two divisions: British India and the Native States or Princely States. In its Interpretation Act of 1889, the British Parliament adopted the following definitions:[8]
The expression British India shall mean all territories and places within Her Majesty's dominions which are for the time being governed by Her Majesty through the Governor-General of India, or through any Governor or other officer subordinate to the Governor-General of India. The expression India shall mean British India together with any territories of an Native Prince or Chief under the suzerainty of Her Majesty, exercised through the Governor-General of India, or through any Governor or other officer subordinate to the Governor-General of India. (52 & 53 Vict. cap. 63, sec. 18)
Suzerainty over 175 Princely States, including some of the largest and most important, was exercised (in the name of the British Crown) by central government of British India under the Viceroy; the remaining, approximately 500, states were dependents of the provincial governments of British India under a Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, or Chief Commissioner (as the case might have been).

A clear distinction between "dominion" and "suzerainty" was supplied by the jurisdiction of the courts of law: the law of British India rested upon the laws passed by the British Parliament and the legislative powers those laws vested in the various governments of British India, both central and local; in contrast, the courts of the Princely States existed under the authority of the respective rulers of those states.

Following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Act for the Better Government of India (1858) made changes in the governance of India at three levels: in the imperial government in London, in the central government in Calcutta, and in the provincial governments in the presidencies (and later in the provinces).[23]
In London, it provided for a cabinet-level Secretary of State for India and a fifteen-member Council of India, whose members were required, as one prerequisite of membership, to have spent at least ten years in India and to have done so no more than ten years before.[24] Although the Secretary of State formulated the policy instructions to be communicated to India, he was required in most instances to consult the Council, but especially so in matters relating to spending of Indian revenues.[23] The Act envisaged a system of "double government" in which the Council ideally served both as a check on excesses in imperial policy-making and as a body of up-to-date expertise on India.[23] However, the Secretary of State also had special emergency powers that allowed him to make unilateral decisions, and, in reality, the Council's expertise was sometimes outdated.[25] From 1858 until 1947, twenty seven individuals would serve as Secretary of State for India and direct the India Office; these included: Sir Charles Wood (1859 - 1866) , Marquess of Salisbury (1874 - 1878) (later three-time Prime Minister of Britain), John Morley (1905 - 1910) (initiator of the Minto-Morley Reforms), E. S. Montagu (1917 - 1922) (an architect of the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms), and Frederick Pethick-Lawrence (1945 - 1947) (head of the 1946 Cabinet Mission to India). The size of the advisory Council would be reduced over the next half-century, but its powers would remain unchanged; in 1907, for the first time, two Indians would be appointed to the Council.[26]
In Calcutta, the Governor-General remained head of the Government of India and now was more commonly called the Viceroy on account of his secondary role as the Crown's representative to the nominally sovereign princely states; he was, however, now responsible to the Secretary of State in London and through him to British Parliament. A system of "double government" had already been in place in the East India Company rule in India from the time of Pitt's India Act of 1784.[26] The Governor-General in the capital, Calcutta, and the Governor in a subordinate presidency (Madras or Bombay) was each required to consult his advisory council; executive orders in Calcutta, for example, were issued in the name of "Governor-General-in-Council" (i.e.the Governor-General with the advice of the Council).[26] The Company's system of "double government" had its critics, since, from the time of the system's inception, there had been been intermittent feuding between the Governor-General and his Council; still, the Act of 1858 made no major changes in governance[26] However, in the years immediately thereafter, which were also the years of post-rebellion reconstruction, the Viceroy Lord Canning found the collective decision-making of the Council to be too time-consuming for the pressing tasks ahead.[26] He therefore requested the "portfolio system" of an Executive Council in which the business of each government department (the "portfolio") was assigned to and became the responsibility of a single Council member.[26] Routine departmental decisions were made exclusively by the member, however, important decisions required the consent of the Governor-General and, in the absence such consent, required discussion by the entire Executive Council. This innovation in Indian governance was promulgated in the Indian Councils Act of 1861.
If the Government of India needed to enact new laws, the Councils Act allowed for a Legislative Council—an expansion of the Executive Council by up to twelve additional members, each appointed to a two-year term—with half the members consisting of British officials of the government (termed official) and allowed to vote, and the other half, comprising Indians and domiciled Britons in India (termed non-official) and serving only in an advisory capacity.[27] All laws enacted by Legislative Councils in India, whether by the Imperial Legislative Council in Calcutta or by the provincial ones in Madras and Bombay, required the final assent of the Secretary of State in London; this prompted Sir Charles Wood, the second Secretary of State, to describe the Government of India as "a despotism controlled from home."[28] Moreover, although the appointment of Indians to the Legislative Council was a response to calls after the 1857 rebellion, most notably by Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, for more consultation with Indians, the Indians so appointed were from the landed aristocracy, often chosen for their loyalty, and far from representative.[29] Even so, the "tiny advances in the practise of representative government were intended to provide safety valves for the expression of public opinion which had been so badly misjudged before the rebellion." (Bayly 1990, p. 195). Indian affairs now also came to be more closely examined in the British parliament and more widely discussed in the British press.[30]
Although the Great Uprising of 1857 had shaken the British enterprise in India, it had not derailed it. After the rebellion, the British became more circumspect. Much thought was devoted to the causes of the rebellion, and from it three main lessons were drawn. At a more practical level, it was felt that there needed to be more communication and camaraderie between the British and Indians; not just between British army officers and their Indian staff, but in civilian life as well. The Indian army was completely reorganised: units composed of the Muslims and Brahmins of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, who had formed the core of the rebellion, were disbanded.[31] New regiments, like the Sikhs and Baluchis, composed of Indians who, in British estimation, had demonstrated steadfastness, were formed. From then on, the Indian army was to remain unchanged in its organization until 1947.[32]
It was also felt that both the princes and the large land-holders, by not joining the rebellion, had proved to be, in Lord Canning's words, "breakwaters in a storm."[31] They too were rewarded in the new British Raj, by being officially recognised in the treaties each state now signed with the Crown.[32] At the same time, it was felt that the peasants, for whose benefit the large land-reforms of the United Provinces had been undertaken, had shown disloyalty, by, in many cases, fighting for their former landlords against the British. Consequently, no more land reforms were implemented for the next 90 years: Bengal and Bihar were to remain the realms of large land holdings (unlike the Punjab and Uttar Pradesh).[32]
Lastly, the British felt disenchanted with Indian reaction to social change. Until the rebellion, they had enthusiastically pushed through social reform, like the ban on suttee by Lord William Bentinck. It was now felt that traditions and customs in India were too strong and too rigid to be changed easily; consequently, no more British social interventions were made, especially in matters dealing with religion, even when the British felt very strongly about the issue (as in the instance of the remarriage of Hindu child widows).

The Partition was a highly controversial arrangement, and remains a cause of much tension on the subcontinent today. British Viceroy Louis Mountbatten has not only been accused of rushing the process through, but also is alleged to have influenced the Radcliffe Line in India's favor since everyone agreed India would be a more desirable country for most.[10] [11] However, the commission took so long to decide on a final boundary that the two nations were granted their independence even before there was a defined boundary between them. Even then, the members were so distraught at their handiwork (and its results) that they refused compensation for their time on the commission.
Some critics allege that British haste led to the cruelties of the Partition.[12] Because independence was declared prior to the actual Partition, it was up to the new governments of India and Pakistan to keep public order. No large population movements were contemplated; the plan called for safeguards for minorities on both sides of the new state line. It was an impossible task, at which both states failed. There was a complete breakdown of law and order; many died in riots, massacre, or just from the hardships of their flight to safety. What ensued was one of the largest population movements in recorded history. According to Richard Symonds[13]

at the lowest estimate, half a million people perished and twelve million became homeless

However, some argue that the British were forced to expedite the Partition by events on the ground.[14], Law and order had broken down many times before Partition, with much bloodshed on both sides. A massive civil war was looming by the time Mountbatten became Viceroy. After World War II, Britain had limited resources[15], perhaps insufficient to the task of keeping order. Another view point is that while Mountbatten may have been too hasty he had no real options left and he achieved the best he could under difficult circumstances[16]. Historian Lawrence James concurs that in 1947 Mounbatten was left with no option but to cut and run. The alternative being getting involved in a potentially bloody civil war from which it would be difficult to get out[17]
Some have argued that much of the blame for the massacres lies with Pakistani nationalists such as Jinnah[18].
Conservative elements in England consider the partition of India to be the moment that the British Empire ceased to be a world power, following Curzon's dictum that "While we hold on to India, we are a first-rate power. If we lose India, we will decline to a third-rate power." The 'flick' of the pen with which Clement Atlee signed the independence treaty is, where remembered, considered sadly; not for the loss of India, but for the loss of what holding India meant.

[edit] Delhi Punjabi refugees
An estimated 20 million people - Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs - crossed the newly carved borders to reach their new homelands. These estimates are based on comparisons of decadal censuses from 1941 and 1951 with adjustments for normal population growth in the areas of migration. In northern India - undivided Punjab and North Western Frontier Province (NWFP) - nearly 12 million were forced to move from as early as March 1947 following the Rawalpindi violence. Delhi received the highest number of refugees for a single city - the population of Delhi grew rapidly in 1947 from under 1 million (917.939) to a little less than 2 million (1.744.072) between the period 1941-1951.(Census of India, 1941 and 1951). The refugees were housed in various historical and military locations such as the Old Fort Purana Qila), Red Fort (Red Fort), and military barracks in Kingsway (around the present Delhi university). The latter became the site of one of the largest refugee camps in northern India with more than 35,000 refugees at any given time besides Kurukshetra camp near Panipat. The camp sites were later converted into permanent housing through extensive building projects undertaken by the Government of India from 1948 onwards. A number of housing colonies in Delhi came up around this period like Lajpat Nagar, Rajinder Nagar, Nizamuddin, Punjabi Bagh, Rehgar Pura, Jungpura and Kingsway. A number of schemes such as provision of education, employment opportunities, easy loans to start businesses etc. were provided for the refugees at all-India level. The Delhi refugees, however, able to make use of these facilities much better than their counterparts elsewhere. [19]

[edit] Refugees settled in India
Many Sikhs and Hindu Punjabis settled in the Indian parts of Punjab and Delhi. Hindus migrating from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) settled across Eastern India and Northeastern India, many ending up in close-by states like West Bengal, Assam, and Tripura. Some migrants were sent to the Andaman islands.
Hindu Sindhis found themselves without a homeland. The responsibility of rehabilitating them was borne by their government. Refugee camps were set up for Hindu Sindhis. However non sindhi Hindus had very little help from the Government of India and many never received compensation of any sort from the Indian Government.

Photo of a railway station in Punjab. Many people abandoned their fixed assets and crossed newly formed borders.
Many refugees overcame the trauma of poverty. The loss of a homeland has had a deeper and lasting effect on their Sindhi culture,it may be in decline in India.
In late 2004, the Sindhi diaspora vociferously opposed a Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court of India which asked the government of India to delete the word "Sindh" from the Indian National Anthem (written by Rabindranath Tagore prior the partition) on the grounds that it infringed upon the sovereignty of Pakistan.

[edit] Refugees settled in Pakistan
Refugees or Muhajirs in Pakistan came from various parts of India. There was a large influx of Punjabi Muslims from East Punjab fleeing the riots. Despite severe physical and economic hardships, East Punjabi refugees to Pakistan did not face problems of cultural and linguistic assimilation after partition. However, there were many Muslim refugees who migrated to Pakistan from other Indian states. These refugees came from many different ethnic groups and regions in India, including Rajasthan Uttar Pradesh (then known as "United Provinces of Agra and Awadh", or UP), Madhya Pradesh (then Central Province or "CP"), Gujarat, Bihar, what was then the princely state of Hyderabad and so on. The descendants of these non-Punjabi refugees in Pakistan often refer to themselves as Muhajir whereas the assimilated Punjabi refugees no longer make that political distinction. Large numbers of non-Punjabi refugees settled in Sindh, particularly in the cities of Karachi and Hyderabad. They are united by their refugee status and their native Urdu language and are a strong political force in Sindh.

Artistic depictions of the Partition
Main article: Artistic depictions of the partition of India
In addition to the enormous historical literature on the Partition, there is also an extensive body of artistic work (novels, short stories, poetry, films, plays, paintings, etc.) that deals imaginatively with the pain and horror of the event.

[edit] See also
British East India Company
British Empire
British India
List of Indian Princely States
Indian independence movement
Pakistan Movement
East Bengal
History of Bangladesh
History of India
History of Pakistan
Indo-Pakistani War of 1947
Artistic depictions of the partition of India
India (disambiguation)

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