The Legacy that Lives On!

Southasia - - Editor's mail -

SouthAsia’s cover story last month was a good at­tempt at high­light­ing the com­plex his­toric ties that dif­fer­ent na­tions of South Asia and par­tic­u­larly the sub­con­ti­nent have had with Bri­tain. As rightly pointed out by your writers, the par­ti­tion of the sub­con­ti­nent be­came the defin­ing mo­ment about how the re­gion will be ruled in fu­ture, with the Bri­tish Raj emerg­ing as one great ex­am­ple worth fol­low­ing. As far as the ques­tion of whether In­dia’s par­ti­tion was jus­ti­fied or not, I, as a pro­gres­sive­minded South Asian be­lieve it is time to let go of his­tory and in­stead fo­cus on our col­lec­tive present and fu­ture.

Rana Kam­ran, Karachi, Pak­istan

(2) I agree with your piece on the Bri­tish Raj and the sub­se­quent par­ti­tion of the In­dian sub­con­ti­nent, con­tend­ing that ‘the Bri­tish rule in In­dia, by all ac­counts, was a mixed bless­ing.’ If we as In­di­ans and Pak­ista­nis man­age to look past our dif­fer­ences and the ‘un­just’ par­ti­tion that the Bri­tish en­forced in the sub­con­ti­nent, we can­not ig­nore the ma­jor con­tri­bu­tions that the Bri­tish made to our col­lec­tive so­cial lives. These con­tri­bu­tions, whether they are so­cial sec­tor re­forms, trans­port in­fra­struc­ture, strength­en­ing of our po­lit­i­cal in­sti­tu­tions or eco­nomic re­forms, they have most cer­tainly pro­vided In­dia and Pak­istan with a strong ba­sis to de­velop their so­ci­eties on. If there is any fac­tor that can be blamed for our so­cial and po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity, it is the post-in­de­pen­dence state of cor­rupt gov­er­nance, which sadly con­tin­ues. So while we gather all strength to seek an­swers to the par­ti­tion and as to why did it take place in the first place, I think it’s now time to leave these dif­fer­ences be­hind and work jointly for a sta­ble fu­ture.

M.S. Vikraal, Chen­nai, In­dia

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