Faith, fury and fear: The story behind one of history's greatest mass migrations
Updated 11:36 AM ET, Wed August 15, 2018
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Millions of Indians flee their homes from India to a newly-formed Pakistan, or in the opposite direction.
In August 1947, around 12-15 million people fled their homes from one side of a new border within the former British colony of India to the other. The direction they took depended on their faith: Hindus and Sikhs came together and separated from Muslims.
An estimated 1 million people died along the way, many facing a violent end. It's also reported that about 75,000 women were abducted and brutally raped by people belonging to the opposite faith.
What became known as partition gave birth to a new nation called Pakistan, conceived by a Muslim political party for India's minority Islamic community. But it was fraught with problems from the moment the British hastily drew the borderline.
This took place as Britain, India's imperial ruler, was handing back power to its colonies. The fight to gain independence for India was a tense yet tireless one for political leaders such as Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi, Jawarharlal Nehru, who became India's first prime minister, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who became the founder of Pakistan.
But how exactly was the British colony split into the nations of India and Pakistan? And what led to one of the most harrowing events of the 20th century? Here are some of the key events that led to one of global history's most defining moments.