The division of British India into India and Pakistan in 1947 changed the course of history, the effects of which are still being felt today.

Partition was the culmination of Gandhi and Nehru’s vision of a free India, Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan and the British government’s haste to leave. Each of the key players had their own vision for the future of the two countries.

Seven decades on, our expert panel will take a frank look at the truth behind Partition, ask whether the objectives of any of these visions ever came to fruition and, if not, how they compare to the reality of modern-day India and Pakistan.

This event brings together Professor of Indian History, William Gould, Pakistani author and journalist, Dilip Hiro, and Yasmin Khan, author of The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan.

About The Speakers

William Gould

William Gould is Professor of Indian History at the University of Leeds. He is currently working on a book with Sarah Ansari exploring the aftermath of partition. He is also engaged in documentary film work which explores India’s independence from the perspective of Adivasi communities.

Dilip Hiro

Dilip Hiro is the author of more than thirty books, including After Empire: The Birth of a Multipolar World; Inside Central Asia; and most recently, Cold War in the Islamic World: Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Struggle for Supremacy.



Yasmin Khan

Yasmin Khan is Associate Professor of History at the University of Oxford. She was born in London and educated at Oxford. The Great Partition, her first book, was the winner of the Royal Historical Society’s Gladstone Prize and has been translated into Urdu and Hindi. She is also the author of The Raj at War: A People’s History of India’s Second World War (2015). She regularly contributes to BBC radio and news and has written for the Guardian, Prospect magazine and BBC History magazine.

About The Chair

Boyd Tonkin

Boyd Tonkin is an award-winning journalist who currently writes on literature and culture for The Financial Times, The Economist, Newsweek and The Spectator. He was previously Literary Editor and then Senior Writer at The Independent, where he re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and judged the award for 15 years. He chaired the jury of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize, and now serves as the prize’s Special Adviser.