chapter  1
10 Pages

Introduction

WithRobert C. Oberst, Yogendra K. Malik, Charles H. Kennedy, Ashok Kapur, Mahendra Lawoti, Syedur Rahman, Ahrar Ahmad

This chapter focuses on the political heritage of the British era, and examines the five largest countries of the region: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. The South Asian political systems and societies of the twenty-first century owe much to the influence of British colonial rule. A defining moment of British rule was the 1857 Indian or Sepoy Mutiny. In 1923, the British signed an agreement with the Nepalese accepting their independence. The British rejected the constitutional proposal, and the Indian National Congress, at its 1929 annual meeting, demanded complete independence from Britain. The countries of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh were part of the British colony of India, while Sri Lanka was a separate Crown colony, and Nepal was never a formal colony but rather a protectorate under British control. Lord Mountbatten arrived in India in 1947 as the new viceroy and on June 3, 1947, announced his partition plan.