Delhi University is planning to prioritize research on the political aspects surrounding the Partition of India and the shortcomings of the central leadership at that time. The university aims to establish a Centre for Independence and Partition Studies that will delve into the intricate dynamics of Partition and examine how the central leadership failed to address the seeds of separatism.
According to documents, the proposed center will also shed light on the decision-making processes that led to Partition, such as the lack of consultation with Mahatma Gandhi by the Congress Working Committee. Additionally, the center will investigate why the central leadership did not insist on including the Frontier Province with India.
The concept note emphasizes the need for in-depth research in this field, highlighting that existing studies in the university’s Social Sciences and Humanities departments touch upon Independence and Partition only briefly, without substantial field research, dedicated archival sources, or studies on the affected groups.
The draft concept note, prepared by an eight-member committee led by Prakash Singh, the Director of Delhi University South Campus, will be presented to the Academic Council and the Executive Council for consideration. The council members will review the recommendations of the committee during their upcoming meeting on May 26.
Singh stated that while the concept note provides suggestions, researchers will have the flexibility to explore other subjects related to Independence and Partition. The envisioned center aims to become a specialized resource and research hub within the Faculty of Social Science, focusing on various aspects of the struggle for freedom and the causes and consequences of Partition.
Among the suggested research priorities mentioned in the note are the role of Cyril Radcliffe, who was relatively unfamiliar with Indian culture, geography, and demographics, in the Partition process. The committee also proposes investigating the strategies employed by the imperial government, the political tensions surrounding Partition, the central leadership’s failure to contain separatism, the uncertain fate of princely states, measures taken to mitigate violence and protect innocent lives, and strategies for rehabilitating Partition victims.
The committee believes that establishing a center dedicated to the study of Independence and Partition would be highly appropriate, considering the significance of these historical events.
(With PTI inputs)