Perry Anderson · Why Partition? · LRB 19 July 2012
I have been doing a goodly bit of reading about Gandhi recently, and I have to recommend the series from Perry Anderson in the London Review Books. Most are behind a paywall, but this selection here is not. Incredible.
In April 1947, he told Mountbatten that ‘the only alternatives were a continuation of British rule to keep law and order or an Indian bloodbath. The bloodbath must be faced and accepted.’ To an Indian journalist, he said he ‘would rather have a bloodbath in a united India after the British quit than agree to partition on a communal basis’. In the dénouement, the violence that satyagrahaspared the British was decanted among compatriots, as Gandhi had said was preferable.