VII. The Contemporary Period, 1945–2000 > F. South and Southeast Asia, 1945–2000 > 1. South Asia, 1945–2000 > b. British India, to Independence and Partition
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
b. British India, to Independence and Partition
From independence into the 1970s, Pandit Nehru's vision of a secular Indian state with strong central planning processes still left room for the influence of business leaders who dominated and shaped the relationship among the state, communities, and individuals. But the increasing acrimony among those making demands on the state (especially communities invoking regional, religious, or ethnic identities, such as the Kashmiris or the Sikhs); Congress's growing reliance on ethnic, religious, and class-defined communities of “vote banks”; and the shift toward economic liberalization policies (which downplayed central planning and opened up new opportunities for Indian entrepreneurs as well as multinational corporations) have created in the 1980s and 1990s an increasingly unstable and doubt-riven civil society. For instance, the number of deaths in communal (religious) riots in the 1980s quadrupled those of the 1970s. Although supporters of partition had asserted that a shared Islamic identity would unite Pakistan, from its earliest days the state has been unable to resolve the tension between the attempt to use Islam to integrate very different regional cultures and the need to accede countering identities constructed around regional and ethnic identities. The fact that Pakistan began with a truncated institutional infrastructure (since most of the integrative institutions, such as the civil service and communication networks, went to India) has exacerbated the problem, at times leading the military to intervene in governance in order to maintain stability and efficiency.  1
1945, June 29
The All-India Congress failed to agree on a common list of ministers for the new government, and the deadlock between Muslim leaders and Congress leaders continued.  2
Sept. 19
The new British Labour government proposed to discuss with Indian representatives the offer for Indian autonomy made in 1942.  3
Sept. 20–23
The All-India Congress, meeting in Bombay, declared this plan to be unsatisfactory and called on Great Britain to “quit India.”  4
Dec. 27
Elections to the central legislative assembly gave the largest number of seats to the Congress Party and the Muslim League.  5
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.