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The Genesis of the Pakistan Idea
A Study of Hindu–Muslim Relations
The main purpose of this study is to trace the course of Hindu–Muslim relations in India, from the Lucknow Pact of 1916 to the demand for Pakistan made by the All-India Muslim League in 1940. The basic features of the evolving Hindu–Muslim relations, beginning from a description of the differences in culture between the two communities, are sketched. These comprise the establishment of a unitary government by the British East India Company and the British government, the rise of nationalism as a result of the cultural renaissance in the nineteenth century, and the struggle for constitutional reform that ended with Partition in 1947. From 1906, at which time the Hindus and Muslims were separately organized, until shortly before Partition, the Hindus, Muslims, and the British government hoped for a communal agreement. This led to proposals for a federation, on the basis that would best suit the type of plural society that existed in India. Negotiations between Hindus and Muslims broke down because the former demanded agreement before the discussion of a constitution whereas the latter considered the constitution as a means of bringing about agreement. The situation was such that the British government could make use of the policy of divide et impera, regardless of whether or not it did so deliberately. Accusations were made which encouraged and deepened the communal rift, in order to continue Britain’s control over India. At any rate, in the end, the only solution to the problem of plural societies in India proved to be Partition.
Walter Bennett Evans was born in Sandstone, Minnesota, on 11 March 1907. He received his B.A. in 1929 from Augsburg College in his home state; and his Masters in History from the University of Minnesota in 1938. His thesis was, ‘The Early Political Career of Knute Nelson, 1867–1892’. He moved to California and taught History at East Los Angeles Junior College (citation in Los Angeles Times, 21 March 1952, p. 14); and at the UCLA Extension in 1966 (citation in Los Angeles Times, 26 September 1966, p. SG 9). The Genesis of the Pakistan Idea was his Doctoral thesis. Walter Bennett Evans married Mary Lorine Keepers in 1946. They had no children. He passed away in 1975.
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