‘It was not inevitable. India’s independence was inevitable; but preservation of its unity was a prize that, in our plural society, required high statesmanship. That was in short supply. A mix of other reasons deprived us of that prize – personal hubris, miscalculation, and narrowness of outlook.’
A G Noorani, Frontline volume 18, issue 26, 2002
On this day in 1947, the modern India and Pakistan were born. Partition triggered one of the world’s largest forced migrations, with the brutal and bloody displacement of almost 20 million people, resulting in more than one million deaths. All because of the drawing of a line on a map.
‘I had also been overwhelmed by an agonising feeling of sympathy for the country which was not only my twin in birth but also joined to me (so to speak) at the hip, so that what happened to either of us, happened to us both. If I, snot-nosed and stain faced etcetera, had had a hard time of it, then so had she, my sub continental twin sister; and now that I had given myself the right to choose a better future, I was resolved that the nation should share it too.’
Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children
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Even worse than failing to win office would be winning it while unprepared for the realities of government. Christine Berry considers what Labour needs to do to avoid the fate of Syriza in Greece
The Conservative Party is in a process of ideological decline or even disintegration, argue James Butler and Richard Seymour.
Landry Ninteretse and Ian Rivera share perspectives from Kenya and the Philippines and call for universal energy systems that are clean and renewable, public and decentralised
Red Pepper’s picks of The World Transformed festival, in Brighton from 21-24 September
Winning elections is not enough. To transform society we need to involve the people in policy making, argue Kerem Dikerdem and Annie Quick
Chloe Tomlinson lays out the battle lines for a more egalitarian, democratic and holistic education system. Essential reading ahead of The World Transformed education sessions
As a US-friendly no-deal Brexit inches closer, Bonnie Castillo of National Nurses United explains why US nurses have joined the fight against NHS privatisation. Recommended reading ahead of The World Transformed health sessions