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  • In August 1947, India gained independence after 200 years of British rule.

    1947 年 8 月,印度從統治兩百年的英國手中獲得獨立。

  • What followed was one of the largest and bloodiest forced migrations in history: an estimated one million people lost their lives.

    隨之而來的是歷史上規模最大、最血腥的迫遷事件之一:估計有 100 萬人喪生。

  • Before British colonization, the Indian subcontinent was a patchwork of regional kingdoms known as princely states, populated by Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians, Parsis, and Jews.


  • Each princely state had its own traditions, caste backgrounds, and leadership.


  • Starting in the 1500s, a series of European powers colonized India with coastal trading settlements.

    從 1500 年代開始,一系列歐洲大國通過沿海貿易定居點殖民印度。

  • By the mid-18th century, the English East India Company emerged as the primary colonial power in India. The British ruled some provinces directly and ruled the princely states indirectly.

    到 18 世紀中葉,英國東印度公司成為印度的主要殖民力量。英國直接統治了一些省份,間接統治了諸侯國。

  • Under indirect rule, the princely states remained sovereign but made political and financial concessions to the British.


  • In the 19th century, the British began to categorize Indians by religious identity — a gross simplification of the communities in India.

    19 世紀,英國人開始根據宗教身份對印度人進行分類——這是對印度社會的粗略簡化。

  • They counted Hindus as "majorities" and all other religious communities as distinct "minorities," with Muslims being the largest minority.


  • Sikhs were considered part of the Hindu community by everyone but themselves.


  • In elections, people could only vote for candidates of their own religious identification; these practices exaggerated differences, sowing distrust between communities that had previously co-existed.


  • The 20th century began with decades of anti-colonial movements, where Indians fought for independence from Britain.

    20 世紀開始於數十年的反殖民運動,印度人為從英國獨立而戰。

  • In the aftermath of World War II, under enormous financial strain from the war, Britain finally caved.


  • Indian political leaders had differing views on what an independent India should look like.


  • Mohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru represented the Hindu majority and wanted one united India.


  • Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who led the Muslim minority, thought the rifts created by colonization were too deep to repair. Jinnah argued for a two-nation division where Muslims would have a homeland called Pakistan.


  • Following riots in 1946 and 1947, the British expedited their retreat, planning Indian independence behind closed doors.

    在 1946 年和 1947 年的動亂之後,英國人加快了撤退的步伐,閉門計劃印度獨立。

  • In June 1947, the British viceroy announced that India would gain independence by August, and be partitioned into Hindu India and Muslim Pakistanbut gave little explanation of how exactly this would happen.

    1947 年 6 月,英國總督宣布印度將在 8 月獲得獨立,並分裂為印度教印度和穆斯林巴基斯坦——但對這究竟是如何發生的幾乎沒有解釋。

  • Using outdated maps, inaccurate census numbers, and minimal knowledge of the land, in a mere five weeks, the Boundary Committee drew a border dividing three provinces under direct British rule: Bengal, Punjab, and Assam.


  • The border took into account where Hindus and Muslims were majorities, but also factors like location and population percentages.


  • So if a Hindu majority area bordered another Hindu majority area, it would be included in India, but if a Hindu majority area bordered Muslim majority areas, it might become part of Pakistan.


  • Princely states on the border had to choose which of the new nations to join, losing their sovereignty in the process.


  • While the Boundary Committee worked on the new map, Hindus and Muslims began moving to areas where they thought they'd be a part of the religious majoritybut they couldn't be sure. Families divided themselves.


  • Fearing sexual violence, parents sent young daughters and wives to regions they perceived to be safe.


  • The new map wasn't revealed until August 17th, 1947 — two days after independence.

    新地圖直到 1947 年 8 月 17 日(即獨立兩天後)才公佈。

  • The provinces of Punjab and Bengal became the geographically separated East and West Pakistan; the rest became Hindu-majority India.


  • In a period of two years, millions of Hindus and Sikhs living in Pakistan left for India, while Muslims living in India fled villages where their families had lived for centuries.


  • The cities of Lahore, Delhi, Calcutta, Dhaka, and Karachi emptied of old residents and filled with refugees.


  • In the power vacuum British forces left behind, radicalized militias and local groups massacred migrants.


  • Much of the violence occurred in Punjab, and women bore the brunt of it, suffering rape and mutilation. Around 100,000 women were kidnapped and forced to marry their captors.

    大部分暴力事件發生在旁遮普邦,婦女首當其衝,遭受強姦和殘害,大約 100,000 名婦女被綁架並被迫嫁給綁架她們的人。

  • The problems created by Partition went far beyond this immediate deadly aftermath: many families who made temporary moves became permanently displaced, and borders continue to be disputed.


  • In 1971, East Pakistan seceded and became the new country of Bangladesh, meanwhile, the Hindu ruler of Kashmir decided to join India — a decision that was to be finalized by a public referendum of the majority Muslim population.

    1971 年,東巴基斯坦脫離並成為新的孟加拉國,與此同時,克什米爾的印度教統治者決定加入印度——這一決定將由多數穆斯林人口的公投最終確定。

  • That referendum still hasn't happened as of 2020, and India and Pakistan have been warring over Kashmir since 1947.

    到 2020 年,公投仍未發生,印度和巴基斯坦自 1947 年以來一直在為克什米爾問題交戰。

  • More than 70 years later, the legacies of the Partition remain clear in the subcontinent: in its new political formations and in the memories of divided families.

    70 多年後,分裂的痕跡在次大陸仍然清晰可見,就在其新的政治結構和分裂家庭的記憶中。

In August 1947, India gained independence after 200 years of British rule.

1947 年 8 月,印度從統治兩百年的英國手中獲得獨立。

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