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India got partitioned in 1947 - and the two provinces that got split were Punjab and Bengal

But here's the interesting thing


Muslim Pop in Indian Punjab: 1.6%
Muslim Pop in Indian Bengal: 27.1%

So there was huge emigration of Muslims from Punjab.
Not so from Bengal
Today there are still districts in Indian Bengal where Muslims are in a majority

Murshidabad : 66%
Malda : 51%
Uttar Dinajpur : 50%

Nothing like it in Punjab where they are in single digits across the state
This is despite the fact that back in 1947, Muslims were in a majority in the districts of Amritsar, Ferozepur, Gurdaspur and Jallandhar - all of which are in Indian Punjab today
So clearly there was mass emigration to Pakistan similar to the emigration of Hindus from Punjab and Sindh to Delhi, Bombay and other Indian towns

Whereas in Bengal, the emigration appears to have been more limited.
Punjab started with a clean slate. On either side of the border.

Whereas Bengal remained complex demographically, with significant Hindu population in East Pakistan and significant muslim population in West Bengal
But the trends of the minority population on either side of the border in Bengal, have been radically different

In Bangladesh / East Pakistan, Hindu population has reduced significantly since 1950s. Here are the numbers from wiki

A decline from 22% in 1951 to 11% in 2015
In sharp contrast in Indian Bengal, the minority population has thrived, with a significant increase since 1951 -

Here are the numbers -

(please note - I am just reporting numbers...no value judgments here)
But it's also interesting to see the demographic evolution of the provinces before Partition

We tend to think that the demographic mix changed decisively in 1947 (more so in Punjab than Bengal).

But that doesn't mean there weren't major changes in late 19th / early 20th can
Let's take a look at the religious composition for Punjab as a whole (both Indian and Pakistan portions) before 1940s -

We see a declining Hindu population in Punjab as we move from the 1880s to 1940s

This decline clearly predates the partition and even the idea of Pakistan
Notice the sharp decline in Hindu population from 43% in 1881 to 29% in 1941

The source for these numbers is from this fine paper on Punjab demography

When we look at East Bengal pre-independence, we see a similar story...

The demographic change long predated the partition, though it was less drastic than in Punjab. Please note these numbers are for East Bengal and not united Bengal

Hindu pop in East Bengal pre-Partition:
I found these numbers fascinating,

The purpose is not to emote people, but to understand the long run trends and the reality of these provinces
We tend to think of "partition" as a "discrete" event. But demographic change long predates Partition, and it continues long after the Partition particularly in Bengal (both West and East)

Less so in Punjab, as Punjab was rendered homogeneous on either side by Partition violence
Postscript : In an earlier tweet I mentioned that pre-Partition Muslims were in a majority in the districts of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Gurdaspur, Ferozepure...

A correction - They were close to a majority...Upwards of 40%. But not quite a majority in all these districts
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