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  1. India Main Page
  2. British Exert Influence, Suppress Indians
  3. Gandhi Leads Challenge of British Rule
  4. Independence Soured by Partition of India and Pakistan
  5. India Supports Independence Movement That Leads to the Creation of Bangladesh
  6. Indira Gandhi's Leadership Is Challenged
  7. Indira and Rajiv Gandhi Are Gunned Down
  8. India and Pakistan Test Nuclear Weapons
  9. Kashmir Continues to Test Relationship Between India and Pakistan
  10. Electoral Upset Brings Congress Party to Power
  11. India and the U.S. Reach Deal on Nuclear Technology
  12. Terrorists Attack Landmarks in Mumbai
  13. India Tests a Long-Range Ballistic Missile
  14. Gang Rape Case Ignites National Protests
  15. Opposition Dominates 2014 Election
  16. Severe Heat Wave Kills More Than Two Thousand
Independence Soured by Partition of India and Pakistan

Gandhi was released in 1944 and negotiations for a settlement were resumed. Finally, in Aug. 1947, India gained full independence. The victory was soured, however, by the partitioning of the predominantly Muslim regions of the north into the separate nation of Pakistan. The Muslim League, led by Mohammed Ali Jinnah, demanded a separate nation for the Muslim minority to prevent Hindu political and social domination. Indian Hindus, however, had hoped for a unified rather than balkanized Indian subcontinent. Lord Mountbatten as viceroy partitioned India along religious lines and split the provinces of Bengal and the Punjab, which both nations claimed. The partition of Pakistan and India led to the largest migration in human history, with 17 million people fleeing across the borders in both directions to escape the bloody riots occurring among sectarian groups. Armed conflict also broke out over rival claims to the princely states of Jammu and Kashmir.

Jawaharlal Nehru, nationalist leader and head of the Congress Party, was made prime minister. In 1949, a constitution was approved, making India a sovereign republic. Under a federal structure the states were organized on linguistic lines. The dominance of the Congress Party contributed to stability. In 1956, the republic absorbed former French settlements. Five years later, the republic forcibly annexed the Portuguese enclaves of Goa, Damao, and Diu.

Nehru died in 1964. His successor, Lal Bahadur Shastri, died on Jan. 10, 1966. Nehru's daughter, Indira Gandhi, became prime minister, and she continued his policy of nonalignment.

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