chapter  18
15 Pages

Post-colonial South Asia

State and economy, society and politics, 1947 to 1971
WithSugata Bose, Ayesha Jalal

This chapter aims at breaching the spatial and temporal divide which that moment has come to represent in the domain of scholarship. Despite a much longer shared history, marked by as many commonalities as differences, post-colonial India and Pakistan have for the most part been treated as two starkly antithetical entities. The different inheritances in the realm of state institutions, especially at the centre, were of critical importance in influencing the nature and direction of historical continuity and change in post-colonial India and Pakistan. The roots of the centre–region tensions in South Asia have less to do with its inherent cultural diversities than with the historical circumstances of the immediate post-colonial period. It was in response to the southern challenge that Jawaharlal Nehru proposed his three-language formula. The roots of the problem in Kashmir can also be traced to the early years of Nehru's prime ministership. Nehru remained unmoved and on 15 December 1952 Sriramalu died of starvation.