By Fritz Blackwell
Twentieth-century India is chronologically almost symmetrical, with 1947-the year of independence as the dividing line. With independence came partition, as British India was divided into India and Pakistan, the farmer becoming constitutionally secular and the latter an Islamic state. In 1971 the east wing of Pakistan, with somewhat delayed military intervention from India, became the independent nation of Bangladesh. It might also be noted that while India has remained a democracy, both Pakistan and Bangladesh have had a succession of military takeovers.