Paper abstract

Kamal Adhikary kamal at LINK.LANIC.UTEXAS.EDU
Sun Sep 21 22:50:25 UTC 1997

Dear colleagues:

        An abstract of the lecture :'Auchinleck and the Partition'

                             --by Robert Osborn, Col. (Retired)
                                CEO, Guildford Corporation

given on  September 18, 1997 at the Asian Studies, UT Austin, is given below:


                          Auchinleck and the Partition
			       --by Robert Osborn, Col. (Retired)
                                CEO, Guildford Corporation


The partition of India, fifty years ago, is seen as a tragedy by some,
the proper answer by others and a great sadness by a few. However, if one
simply observes man's inhumanity to man in the twentieth century, one
thing is certain that  tribalism is not dead.

Would it have been possible to avoid the carnage that took place on the
sub-continent in August in 1947? The answer is, of course it was
possible. Yet the ambitions of a few men, who were on authority, were the
driving force to partition and the blood of thousands is to some degree
on their hands. The desire to get the two groups separated into their own
geographic areas not yet agreed upon by all players was foisted by an
excessively ambitious Admiral, a dying Nationalist, and two ill advised
Prime Ministers. This problem was exacerbated by a tribal grouping that
saw their dream of nationhood being shattered by the decision to separate
the other two tribes.

For years, there have been allegations that the boundary between India
and West Pakistan, as it was at that time, had somehow been
gerrymandered, in the last hours prior to partition, in favor of India by
Lord Mountbatten and at the behest of Nehru.  There is no doubt that this
is correct and can be proven as some of the participants begin to speak
out. How much impact this had on the future relationship between the two
nations is a question yet to be resolved. Thus far it has been the basis
for three wars between the countries and is still a bone of contention.
Is it not somewhat understandable, however, to see how an English
Admiral, with no real understanding of the sub-continent and its peoples,
a Moslem Nationalist, who had never really lived amongst his people and
did not speak their language, and an Hindu Indian Prime Minister, who was
born in a state that was over ninety percent Moslem, could create such a

The above abstract can aslo be viewed at:


Kamal R. Adhikary, Ph.D.
Asian Studies,UT, Austin
Email:kamal at

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