For faster downloading, Mr. Olson's article is divided into the following linked sections:
YOU MAY send comments or questions by e-mail in care of the Editor,
A Historical Retrospective:
Ambassador Henry Grady and Indian Independence
by Robert K. Olson
The occasion brought back into focus Nehru in his "Nehru jacket" and "Gandhi hat," half in love with Edwina, torn between the joy of the moment and the sheer horror of the massacres; Gandhi, who more than anyone had made it possible; the Congress leaders, Patel, V.P. Menon and Krishna Menon, Rajagopalachari, Jinnah, the father of Pakistan, and many others. We could see them seated in the Constituent Assembly waiting for the stroke of midnight. Out of the waiting silence,
Ceremonies for Pakistani independence were held the day before, in Karachi where British troops who lowered the flag also cut down the pole; no other flag would fly from it, ever.
The ocasion also brought to mind images of the insane and bloody massacres that left by year's end an estimated half million or more dead and fifteen million uprooted as Muslims fled to Pakistan and Hindus to India. The end of the Raj, therefore, and the birth of the independent states of India and Pakistan were at once a painful and glorious event which seared itself on the memory and imagination of the world.
There was even more to it than that. Celebrated in neither song nor story was a third pivotal event,