January 24, 2022

Radcliffe Report of the Punjab Boundary Commission, 1947

This document is the report submitted by British representative Sir Cyril Radcliffe, joint chairman of the two boundary commissions responsible for determining the dividing line between the Indian and Pakistani portions of the Punjab and Bengal provinces of the Raj. Radcliffe arrived in July of 1947, having never before been to India, and was given five weeks to determine the boundary to come into existence upon the British withdrawal on August 15. Its implementation marked the beginning of the process of “Partition,” during which some fifteen million people were displaced and more than a million were killed.

Before his return to England, Radcliffe destroyed all his papers relating to the partition process.

List of reading

William Dalrymple, “The Great Divide: The Violent Legacy of Indian Partition,” New Yorker, June 22, 2015

Yasmin Khan, The Great Partition

Ayesha Jalal, The Pity of Partition

Vazira Zamindar, The Long Partition and the Making of Modern South Asia

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