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Thursday, Dec 02, 2021
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Count Down To Partition

Sellout Hour

Hindu, Muslim and Sikh leaders accept the notion of Partition; Mountbatten picks August 15 on a whim; and Jinnah gets a 'moth-eaten' Pakistan

Sellout Hour
Sellout Hour
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

From all accounts, Mountbatten reached the peak of his viceregal career in selling Partition combined with Dominion status to the assembled Indian leaders on June 2, 1947. It was a masterly blend of persuasion and authority. Gandhi was not there. He arrived at the viceroy's house after the conference, shielding his agony behind his day of silence, trying to put together whatever he could from the debris of his dreams.

Having secured assent to his plan for transfer of power within 10 weeks of taking over as viceroy, Mountbatten felt free to function as a victorious commander setting his own time-table. The next phase, he decided, should not take much longer. Speed and acceleration was the strategy that had enabled him to confuse and dictate terms to the Indian leaders. The pace had to be maintained lest the British-run administration collapse before the responsibility of governance was transferred to Indian and Pakistani hands.

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