The book is based on archival material accessed for the first time from the Nehru Papers and the archives of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. It provides readers with a new perspective on a great many significant issues of the sub-continent’s India–Pakistan discourse.
The Partition was an opportunity for the two nations to go their own ways and build egalitarian societies, complementing each other. Unfortunately, unable to transcend old animosities, Pakistan added new ones to construct the bogey of Indian hegemony. This was diametrically opposed to India’s determination to steer clear of the past and pursue a positive policy towards Pakistan, since it shared centuries of historical, economic, social and cultural ties with its people. For India, the separation was like a family dividing its assets by mutual agreement of its members and living peacefully thereafter. For Pakistan, however, the separation was akin to a permanent breakup of a family, which was accompanied by the nursing of grievances and the harbouring of adversarial feelings. It is this mental make-up dictating the Indo–Pakistan narrative in the years following the Partition, which the book succinctly captures.