Nations Divided: Teaching the history of the partition of the Indian Subcontinent:

2017 marks the 70th anniversary of the independence of British India, with territory ‘partitioned’ to create two separate states, India and Pakistan.

The Runnymede Trust was commissioned to carry out an evaluation of a pilot schools project introducing the history of the partition of British India to school students.

Our report 'Nations Divided: How to teach the history of partition' charts opportunities and challenges in teaching this history and serves as a case study for future projects.

See report by clicking here.

The Partition History Project exists to raise awareness and deepen public understanding, in Britain, of the historical circumstances surrounding the Partition of India in 1947, and the subsequent consequences of mass migration, displacement and terrible loss of life.

The project is looking at ways of addressing the hidden legacy of grief and distrust between people of different faith communities and backgrounds in Britain, dating back to this event, through the compassionate use of arts, history teaching and the national curriculum.

Our evaluation found that the subject of the partition of the Indian Subcontinent was of great interest to students and teachers alike. 

Crucially, the teaching of the history of partition must be embedded within a wider understanding of Empire and Britain’s relationship with former colonies.

The anniversary comes as the UK and debates on immigration, community cohesion and national identity.

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