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CENSUS OF 1941

CENSUS OF 1941 The census of 1941 holds special significance for Pakistan It demonstrated that the Muslim community in India constituted an even larger minority than was generally believed The Muslim population, with a higher total fertility rate than the non-Muslims, was growing at a faster rate than the rest of India According to the census estimates, some 30 percent of the Indian population- about 100 million people in all-were Muslim The census also provided the basis for the partition of the large provinces of Bengal and Punjab into Muslim and non-Muslim parts, following the decision by the British to divide their South Asian domain into a Hindu majority (India) and a Muslim majority (Pakistan) Muslim Bengal was to become East Pakistan, and later attained independence in 1971 as Bangladesh However, Sir Cyril Radcliffe, appointed to oversee the division of Bengal and Punjab, did not strictly follow the census results and allotted two districts, Jullundhur and Gurdaspur, that had small Muslim majorities to India Had Jullundhur been included in Pakistan’s Punjab, it would have also brought Amritsar with a large Sikh population and the site of the holiest shrine of Sikh religion, into Pakistan Award of Gurdaspur to India gave that country land access to the state of Jammu and Kashmir



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