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Rivers and canals as “other factors” in the partition of India


The demand to partition British India was mainly made on the basis of Hindu-Muslim “differences”. However, at the time of drawing boundary line, the Boundary Commission (BC) for Bengal and Punjab also considered “other factors”. In fact, some of the decisions of the BC were highly influenced by the “other factors.” This paper examines how the other factors,’ mainly canals, rivers, and irrigation systems, influenced Radcliffe’s decisions to demarcate the boundary between India and Pakistan. It looks at some of the debates on Radcliffe’s decisions regarding the territory and analyses the bearing of such decisions on the water disputes between India-Pakistan, and India-Bangladesh.

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Correspondence to Amit Ranjan.

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Ranjan, A. Rivers and canals as “other factors” in the partition of India. Water Hist (2021).

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  • Boundary commissions
  • Bengal
  • Punjab
  • Radcliffe
  • Indus
  • “Other factors”