70 years ago, the British Empire declared India its independence, creating two separate and sovereign countries that we now come to know as being India and Pakistan.
It is said that mass public appeal from Mohandas Gandhi had resulted in this declaration. Gandhi himself was self-aware that Britain would never grant India its entitled freedom and thus began his civil-disobedience campaign.
The civil rights leader employed peaceful and nonviolent efforts in his campaigns to fight against British colonialism. There were individuals that retaliated against his movement with violence, but Gandhi calmly persevered hard to ensure that India would attain secured national independence.
In 1942, a “Quit India” campaign was launched. During this time, Britain was fighting in the Second World War. With 2.5 million Indian troops fighting in alliance with Britain, the country had thus pleaded to grant India its independence after the war.
The marking of the country’s independence then emerged in 1947, with former British Prime Minster Clement Attlee vowing early that the year that the Raj would finally end.
The nation of Britain was itself suffering at the time as a result of post World War Two problems. With a declining empire, the country had no other choice but to permit independence for India.
Therefore on August 14 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime of minister of an independent India, delivered a speech which signified a new and uprising age for the country.
With the assumption that this partition would resemble prosperous change and stability, what reality really depicted in the aftermath of India’s independence resembled the complete opposite.
15 million Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs fled and swapped their countries in huge bunches, fearful of discrimination.
The outcome of this mass migration was pure carnage, with millions of innocent lives lost. Train carriages, full of bloody bodies, would come into the two connecting stations of Lahore and Amritsar.
As well of this, survivors of the migration disclosed that people were running around streets carrying dangerous weapons. Furthermore, it is told that houses were being burnt and women were publicly raped in this massacre.
In the northern Indian state of Kashmir, tens of thousands of Muslims have been killed by Hindu mobs in the past 30 years, as well many others being forcefully vacated from their homes to Pakistan. Today, Kashmir is still a Muslim-majority area in India.
All of this conflict goes to beg the underlying question – how are the tensions between India and Pakistan at this very present day?
It has been documented that the two countries have engaged in three wars since 1947. Connections between the two still proceed as being tense, with particular regards to who rules Kashmir.
Cricket is known as being the national competing sports game for both countries; however it is reported that neither nation has played a five-day Test match against each other since 2007.
In terms of political connections, it has been reported that Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi actually went to Pakistan in 2015. However, tensions still continue to loom as Pakistan sentenced to death former Indian naval officer, Kulbushan Jadhav.
Pakistani political analyst, Hasan Askari, said that:
"The present tension between India and Pakistan is unnatural. Therefore I don't expect this to stay as it is for all the time to come”.
He further added: "As no dialogue is taking place, this relationship is really bad”.
The current economies of India and Pakistan
Due to the size of its population and being able to inherit Government financial institutions, India’s economy was stronger and bigger than Pakistan’s from the very beginning of partition.
However, during the first 50 years of independence, the average income of a person in Pakistan was said to be higher than the income of a person in India.
Nevertheless, the emergence of the 21st century saw an exponential boost in India’s economy. In the 1990s, economic reforms took place in the country, which opened up markets for foreign investment.
In terms of trade, India and Pakistan are said to hardly formally trade with each other. In fact, Pakistan have compiled a ‘negative list’, which bans a total of 1,200 goods from India.
Despite this, informal trade between the two countries does exist, with trade estimate being close to 5 billion dollars a year. With regards to how this informal trade takes place, it is said that goods are shipped via Dubai, which acts as a ‘trading change’ for the two countries.
Picture depicting how the Indian and Pakistani trade are segregated from each other. Source - The Express Tribune.
How the two countries are celebrating 70 years of independence
Commemorating the occasion, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a speech, saying that “bullets and abuses” is not the answer for establishing peace in Kashmir.
Mr Modi also declared Kashmiri separatists to end their agenda of “scheming” and furthermore pleaded Indians to rediscover “the lost paradise” alongside their fellow Kashmiris.
In Pakistan, celebrations commenced on Monday. These showed giant displays of the Pakistani flag and shows of airpower, with firework presentations also being exhibited in cities.
Sources – TIME, BBC News, The Telegraph