The Pakistan Resolution of 1940 at Lahore was the outcome of the political confrontation between Hindus and Muslims. The Lahore Resolution demanded that geographically contiguous units “be demarcated into regions, which should be constituted with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary so that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority should be grouped to constitute ‘Independent States’ in which the constitutional units be autonomous and sovereign”. From the constitutional point of view, the Lahore Resolution asserted that South Asia consisted of many nations and not of two nations. It was, in effect, a blueprint for the balkanization of South Asia and not merely for its partition into two units.
The fervour for the Lahore Resolution sprang not merely from the disillusion of Muslims with Hindu leadership. It was also facilitated by the vagueness of the Resolution itself, which promised everything to everybody. The vernacular Muslim elites of Bengal maintained that the Lahore Resolution was legally a charter for a Muslim dominated independent and sovereign Bengal. The immigrant Muslim Ashraf of Bengal thought that the Lahore Resolution was a mandate for merging geographically dispersed Muslim majority areas into an Islamic state. Ultimately the demands of the vernacular Muslim elite for an independent Bengal were opposed by both the Ashraf and the Hindu middle class. Ironically the formal decision for the partition of Bengal was taken not by Muslim but by Hindu leaders who had fought for an undivided Bengal four decades ago.
The partition of the South Asian subcontinent into two independent states in 1947 was a defeat for the British policy. It partially undid Pax Britannica, which was the greatest achievement of the Raj. Nevertheless, the partition forestalled the balkanization of the sub-continent which would have swept away the entire political structure, which was so labouriously built by the British rulers. The eastern areas of Bengal were constituted into a province of Pakistan and her political boundaries were drawn up arbitrarily.