NEW DELHI: History is full of ironies and India’s partition makes for gripping tales which make the background for the upcoming book “India’s Lost Frontier” penned by Raghvendra Singh, who retired as secretary, Ministry of Textile recently.
Arguing that the then North-west Frontier Province (NWFP) was a strategic bulwark which fell with partition, Singh opines that the region can only be ignored at one’s peril, while noting that “Chinaisation of the region through one road one belt (OBOR) would have repercussions”.
With a rich trove of declassified documents of times preceding India’s partition, Singh found exchanges of letters between the then top bureaucracy of the British government in New Delhi and London too engaging to ignore. “When communal riots flared up in Bengal, Bihar and elsewhere in the latter half of 1946, NWFP was a region of peace with a Congress government, despite 90% of Muslim population. On August 15, 1947, 80% of Balochistan wasn’t part of Pakistan,” Singh said in an interaction before the launch of the book on Wednesday by former President Pranab Mukherjee.
Singh in 2006 had taken a road journey to Balochistan from Rajasthan for a research project. “I had overwhelming experiences in Karachi and other parts of the region,” he recalls.