India–Pakistan Partition 1947 and forced migration
Published Online: 4 FEB 2013
Copyright © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.
The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration
How to Cite
Zamindar, V. F.-Y. 2013. India–Pakistan Partition 1947 and forced migration. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .
- Published Online: 4 FEB 2013
The end of British colonial rule in India on August 14/15, 1947 was accompanied by the political partition of the Indian subcontinent into two independent nation-states – India and Pakistan. This process of partitioning and drawing new political boundaries was marked by catastrophic violence in large parts of north India, particularly the province of Punjab, and led to an unprecedented mass displacement of people that stretched into the ensuing decades. While numbers vary, it is estimated that up to one million people were killed during the violence in 1947, and around 50,000 women were abducted. Some 12 million people were displaced in the divided province of Punjab alone, and up to 20 million in the subcontinent as a whole. Thus the India–Pakistan Partition resulted in one of the largest forced migrations of the 20th century.