Published On: Thu, Jul 5th, 2018

Causes and Violence in Punjab During British Raj in India

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Causes of Violence

One of the principal causes for the initial violence in the region may have been due to uncertainty regarding British plans to depart. However, the main motive has to be seen as the deeply embedded hatred between the religious communities. Genocidal impulses certainly did develop throughout the area.

Causes and Violence in Punjab During British Raj in India

The announcement on 3 June 1947 which placed Lahore on the West side or rather in Pakistan, led to a massive escalation in ethnic violence. Whilst the formal independence of India and Pakistan was announced on 14 and 15 August, the further statement on 17 August of the Radcliffe Award of boundaries was greater incitement to violence. The boundary award confirmed Amritsar as a non Muslim city, which signalled the start of mass genocidal conflict throughout other areas of the Punjab.

Results of Violence

The major result of the Punjabi violence was that the evacuation of minority communites became an official policy in India and Pakistan, with refugee organisations created to facilitate this. All Hindus and Sikhs were urged to leave west Punjab and Muslims to leave the east of the Punjab.

Whilst some of the violence in the region may well have been due to the desire for plunder, it has to be concluded from the sources studied that the violence and ethnic cleansing in the Punjab was linked to claims for territory in advance of the plan for partition.

About the Author

- Paul Linus is an eminent online journalist who has been writing news, features and editorials on different websites from across the world for about a decade. He can be contacted at

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