Wednesday, May 25, 2011

30 May 2011: Veterans and Ethnic Cleansing in the Partition of India

Steven Wilkinson
Yale University

This paper analyses the pattern of ethnic cleansing during and after
the partition of India, using new all-India data on both the
precipitants of violence and the scale of ethnic cleansing. The paper
shows that the pattern of cleansing is in fact much more varied than
many accounts suggest. Our main finding is that the levels of
cleansing are associated with larger numbers of frontline veterans in
a district; ethnic cleansing requires not just the motivation for
violence, or the existence of a security crisis, but also military
skills and organization. While the link between veterans and violence
has been asserted before, especially for Punjab, this is the first
paper to demonstrate the relationship empirically, and to show that
frontline experience, rather than military training per se, is the
crucial factor.

The relationship between veterans and political mobilization arguably
has implications for other post-1947 developments in India, such as
the Punjab movement, and also perhaps shifts in patterns of central
spending in some states.

Date: May 30, 2011
Time: 11:30 A.M.

Conference Hall,
Centre for Policy Research,
Dharma Marg, Chanakyapuri,
New Delhi–110021(INDIA)


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