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Partition clear example of First Metre failure (August 2007)
The partition of India and Pakistan sixty years ago this month was, despite appearance at the highest level, a tragic disaster for hundreds of thousands of Hindu and Moslem families caught up in the mass violence that followed the announcement of the new border between the two nations. Seven million people of each religion moved home across the border and large numbers of violent events accompanied these mass migrations. It has been estimated that at least one million people died in the violence and a further 1.5 million were forced to flee their homes.


While the need for partition was generally recognised it was the way in which it was carried out that was such a disgrace,  The man appointed to define the new border, Sir Cyril Radcliffe, was someone who had never travelled east of Gibralter before 1947 and knew nothing about India or the Indians, let alone their various faiths. Yet, working in secret isolation in a bungalow in New Delhi, he was required to establish a sacred and enduring line that would reflect no bias towards either Indian or Pakistan national interests. 


The process that Radcliffe later admitted should have taken two years to complete with due consideration to affected areas, taking account of the villages and the villagers along the line of the new border, was in fact carried out in just 40 days.  More . . .