A Library Divided
During the Partition of India, a librarian divides the books between two piles. The partition led to the creation of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on August 14-15, 1947 and included not only the geographical divisions but also the division of other assets, including the British Indian Army, the Indian Civil Service, the Indian railways, and the central treasury. This partition (Mountbatten Plan) was based on a misguided border secretly drawn by the London lawyer, Sir Cyril Radcliffe from August 9-12, and the actual geographical details are not released until 2 days after the partition.
Radcliffe was to grant the majority Hindu regions to India and the majority Muslim areas to Pakistan. Therefore Pakistan came into being with two non-contiguous enclaves, East Pakistan (today Bangladesh) and West Pakistan, separated geographically by India. However, Radcliffe was not consistent in his division–he gave Chittagong to Pakistan, although the area was non-Muslim. Why he did so remain a mystery, since Radcliffe destroyed all of his records and Mountbatten expressly denied any special-knowledge or favouritism.
Nonetheless, the massive exoduses from both sides (about 14.5 million people in total) occurred in the months following Partition crossing the borders into the state of religious majority. The newly independent states were unable to keep public order in these exoduses. One of the largest population movements in recorded history was therefore subsequently followed by complete breakdown of law and order, riots, starvation and massacres.