The 1947 Great Divide of the subcontinent of India continues to generate interest among historian, regardless of their ideological persuasion. This was a dramatic event that registered the role of the British rulers, the Congress and Muslim League leadership, and the people who overnight became alien in an area that was declared 'foreign' following the formal articulation of the division of the subcontinent. A political decision, taken at the level of 'high' politics, radically altered the identity of those located in areas which changed their nomenclature after the 1947 vivisection. For those who left their homes, the bifurcation suddenly changed a geographical space into memory. Home became a distant object for those who underwent the trauma apart from the actual brutality that accompanied partition.
Thus partition is not merely an event; it is also the completion of a process that had become manifest in the ever-changing socio-economic and political environment of India under the Raj. The available literature is a pointer to that. Careful reading of the official sources (in the India Office Library, and Archives in India) clearly shows the shift in perceiving the Indian 'problem'. As long as Linlithgow was presiding over the empire, the idea of a separate Muslim state remained conceptual construction, especially in the aftermath of the 1940 Lahore resolution. The official documents of this phase, cited in the bibliography, are illustrative here. Wavell's arrival on the scene was certainly a break with the past because the perception that the empire was no longer viable gained ground. The Wavell Papers clearly identify the changed the direction of the British policy. Mountbatten's tenure as the (last) Viceroy demonstrates how the bifurcation was finally accomplished, taking into account the role of major political parties largely under his stewardship. As Mountbatten recorded everything about his role in this momentous event, his private papers are very useful in grasping (1) the British perception in quickly dismantling the Raj so assiduously maintained for the last 200 years and (2) the role of the Indian political actors representing the Congress, League and other major political parties in what virtually became a counter to bargain as