People Politics and Protest (2)
India won freedom and was partitioned in 1947. Pakistan, the new state, emerged on the western and the eastern parts of erstwhile British India, resulting in a mass exodus – the largest in the history, according to United Nation High Commission for Refugees, especially with the division of erstwhile British Indian provinces of Punjab and Bengal. Although the Indian state of Punjab could somehow tackle the ‘burden of refugees’ through a so-called ‘land-man exchange’, the new – territorially truncated after partition – Indian state of West Bengal had to provide shelter to millions of partition-refugees. Thus, the infant state of West Bengal began its journey as a crippled toddler crowned with problems.