Secularization and 'constitutive moments': insights from partition diplomacy in South Asia

Book chapter
Change log

This essay proposes an argument – on the face of it, both outlandish and paradoxical – that the violent upheavals of partition, which divided British India along religious lines, encouraged trends towards secularization in India and Pakistan. In the very months when the subcontinent was engulfed in religious conflict, both countries took significant steps to produce common institutions – indeed a common statecraft -- to manage mass migration and lawlessness across the new borders that divided them. I suggest this process secularized both states simultaneously in specific, admittedly partial, but remarkably similar, ways.

Is Part Of
Tolerance, Secularization and Democratic Politics in South Asia