Decolonization

Topics: Cold War, Islam, Colonialism Pages: 3 (1312 words) Published: May 29, 2015
In the years following WWII the process of decolonization began to take place on a large global scale. Previous to World War II much of the world was under a colonial power including India, Southeast Asia, and most of the African continent. As European powers were weakened by two world wars and a severe economic depression, their ability and desire to retain control over their colonies diminished. As former colonies were able to successfully gain independence, these regions suddenly had to transition from a colonial state to self-governance. However, the social, political, and economic influences during the process of decolonization for these countries differed which contributed to differing degrees of success during transition. A more favorable set of influences led to a more stable post-colonial India than in Southeast Asia and certainly more stable than in Africa. Social influences in India, Africa and Southeast Asia contributed significantly to stability, or lack thereof, in these regions during post-colonial transitions. India and Africa certainly suffered from ethnic tensions after decolonization. Traditionally, India is Hindu, however with the influx of Muslim Arabs during the previous millennium during Arab invasions, this established a significant Muslim minority. The interaction between Indian Hindus and Muslims over the next several hundred years remained strained due to unequal social hierarchy, with the Muslim minority considered oppressed by the Hindus in the 19th and 20th century. As the Indian independence movement pressed forward and culminated in 1947, in contrast to the more populous Hindus who sought a unified India, Muslims petitioned for an independent Muslim state. Muslim and Hindu religions began an almost immediate conflict with each other resulting in the Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India split. This Partition of Bengal resulted in religious hostilities and enormous displacement and migrations of Hindus and Muslims to their...
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